“没有智能手机的中国” 多维新闻

多维新闻

“没有智能手机的中国”

2018年12月 11日

 貝一明                    

“想象一下没有智能手机的中国是什么样子。”

我每每向中国朋友提出这样的建议,他们总会天马行空地畅想一番——他们以为我接下来要描述的,是一个个未来派的”智能化城市”:市民不再使用智能手机,因为所需信息可以被投射到他们的眼镜或者视网膜上——通过植入式芯片直接传送到大脑也有可能。

但我的话并没有言外之意——我所指的,就是一个不存在智能手机的中国。毕竟中国的历史有几千年之久;在没有智能手机的时代,这个国家也创造过伟大的艺术与文学成就,建立过极为复杂的治国理政体系。

我们的大脑和社交活动正不断地被手机所取代,导致我们的生活氛围每况愈下:民众迷失了方向,不再把自己视作某群体之中的一员;众多家庭中,那个由金属和玻璃制成的怪异小盒子放出的虚假影像蛊惑了父母和子女,使他们彼此渐行渐远。

地铁上的乘客既不思索社会问题,也不考虑是否挤到了身边的人,几乎人人都沉迷于手机,渐渐地失去了为别人着想的能力。

他们要么沉浸在手游中,要么飞快地阅览着一幅幅巧克力蛋糕、拿铁咖啡以及时装美鞋图片,要么目不转睛地看着搞笑短视频。

就连用手机阅读严谨调查报告的人都寥寥无几,更不用说专心看书以求了解重要时事的读者了。至于中国要如何应对气候变化以及中、美、俄三方之间的核武竞赛乃至核战争等问题,人们几乎谈都不谈。许多媒体报道已经沦为某种毫无深度的娱乐形式,而仅仅二三十年前还存于人们心中的一丝不苟的责任感已然无迹可寻。

全球经济形势正在飞速变化,其影响不可小觑。然而只有那些全心全意关注这一过程的人才能对其有所了解。

上述现象所导致的一大后果,就是全社会的政治意识水平与公众对共同目标的投入程度急剧下滑。我仍然记得二十世纪八十年代有人说过,中国应当停止极度政治化进程,但如今我们尚未触及另外一个极端。

恐怕智能手机和广泛传播、令人冲动浮躁、心猿意马的社交媒体正在这场悲剧中起重要作用。

对于目标明确、价值观端正的人来讲,社交媒体具有积极意义,但要以明确何为使用、何为滥用为前提。

智能手机究竟有何用处?有人说它们可以使我们的生活更加便捷,让我们获得无穷无尽的资讯。IT专家也在不断编制手机程序,让它们拥有更多功能,能够更好地满足我们的需要,使我们的生活更为舒适。

然而尼古拉斯•卡尔(Nicholas Carr)在《浅薄:互联网如何毒化了我们的大脑》(The Shallows: Whatthe Internet is Doing to our Brains)一书中指出,大量科学研究结果表明,互联网以及智能手机会”毒化”我们的大脑:它们刺激神经元持续不断地做出迅速反应,同时削弱使用者沉思与专注的能力。

长此以往,这些高科技产物会造就这样的民众:对迫在眉睫的危机无知无觉,无法——甚至不愿意——提出、采取解决方案。我们原本期望他们就国家的未来积极展开讨论,可他们却沉溺于声色世界无法自拔——在他们眼中,就连政治事件也可以拿来娱乐。

如果我们因为大脑被智能手机毒化而沉迷于一时之快,丧失了深入思考、全面理解人类社会复杂性的能力,我们将何去何从?

毕竟这场由智能手机主导的游戏,其主旨是消费而非理解;至于智慧,更被抛到了九霄云外。

中国的空气污染情况比较严重。一方面,人们对廉价能源与产品的需求导致了对环境的破坏;另一方面,大家又对真正的污染源视若无睹。面对这种情况,公众十分被动,同时也无法辨别其中的复杂因素,这实在令人担忧。

也就是说,在智能手机社会中,我们将所见所闻分解成独立的元素——比如脸书上的帖文,却没有培养自己的宏观视角,去掌握身边复杂潮流的来龙去脉。

那一个个富有刺激性的故事与画面酷似一朵朵饱含蜜汁的鲜花,而我们就像在花丛中穿梭的蝴蝶一般,在文字与图像中徘徊。读完各种网文之后,我们只是隐隐约约地觉得这个世界似乎不对头,但并不清楚问题出在哪里、与我们的行为有什么关系,也拿不出行之有效的解决方案。

我们需要问一问,那些改变了我们对世界看法的高科技产物,其使用是否应当受到限制;那些令人们脱离邻里同事间关于改进社会的讨论、丧失对长期问题的批判意识的产品,是否应当受到慎重的控制。

倘若我们有理由相信科技能够影响政治进程的核心,那么我们就不能放任自己受这种观念的诱惑:那些高科技产物是”现代”的象征。

如果我们失去了独立思考的能力,无法了解社会、经济与文化随时间推移而发生的复杂变化,民主便无法立足。

如果智能手机令我们失去了自主思考的能力,不论它们能带来多少便利,我们都会慢慢滑入噩梦世界,却可能对这一切无所察觉。

Let them eat Macron!

Let them eat Macron!

「スマートフォンのない韓国」 中央日報

中央日報

「スマートフォンのない韓国」

2018年 12月 7日

エマニュエル・パストリッチ

スマートフォンがない韓国を想像してみようという提案をするたびに、韓国人は何の荒唐無稽な話かというような表情を浮かべて私にその理由を尋ねる。彼らは私がメガネや網膜に情報を投射したり電子チップで頭脳に情報を直接伝達したりして、スマートフォンを使わなくてもいい、さらに先端化された「スマート都市」を思い浮かべながらそのような提案をしたのだと考えたりもする。だが、私が提案する「スマートフォンない韓国」の意味は字そのままだ。今のようなスマートフォンの使用はなくすか、必ず変化するべきだ。

  地下鉄に乗るたびにほぼすべての人々がスマートフォンに夢中になっている光景を目にする。韓国人は周辺の人と「絶縁」した状態にいたいようだ。ゲームに没頭したりチョコレートケーキや流行服が登場する写真を慣れた手付きでスワイプしていく。動画を見る人も多い。我々の時代の深刻な問題を扱った本を読む人を見つけるのは難しい。

  彼らは韓国が気候変動危機や米国・ロシア・中国間の核兵器競争や核戦争の危険に対応する方法について関心を示さない。多くのマスコミの報道はエンターテインメントコンテンツ同様に扱われたり過度に単純化されたりしている。最近、国会に係留中である法案の内容は言うまでもなく、現在の複雑な地政学的問題を知ろうとする努力もなかなかしない。

  韓国の大気環境を一例としてみてみよう。私は韓国人が自分たちと密接に関連したこの問題の原因を糾明できない姿を見ながら衝撃と苦痛を感じる。さらに高等教育を受けた人さえ韓国と中国の粒子状物質の排出に対する正確な原因を知らなかったり、韓国と中国の産業規制緩和に対して消費者として何をするべきか慎重に考えないようだ。言い換えれば社会的現象があたかもフェイスブックに投稿される「散文」のように個別要素に分解され、複雑な現象を分析する能力が頭の中で形成されていないように感じる。

  スマートフォンが韓国人の頭脳と社会を掌握して不吉な方向に進み続けるなら、韓国には共同体の目標に対する献身的人生と政治的認識は衰退して消えてしまうだろう。その兆候はすでに現れている。衝動的で不確かな応答を奨励するソーシャルメディアの拡散と同時に、スマートフォンがこの悲劇で重要な役割を果たしていることが恐ろしい。

スマートフォンが未来社会に及ぼす役割に対する分析はさまざまだ。多くの専門家がスマートフォンが我々の人生をより便利にし、無限の情報に接することを可能にするという。我々が必要とするものごとにうまく対応できるようにし、人生をより過ごしやすくするということだ。スマートフォンは民主主義の拡張にも寄与する。2010年アラブ圏で起きた「ジャスミン革命」はスマートフォンが大衆にプレゼントした「情報の民主化」が触発したとみることができる。最近、韓国で起きた「ろうそく革命」も同じような流れの一つだ。

  しかし核心は「情報の量」ではなく「情報の質」だ。スマートフォンを通じて拡散する情報が質的に果たして優れていると考えることはできるか。現在、韓国の既成世代はスマートフォンがなくてもかつて大学内で民主主義の花を咲かせた青年たちだ。彼らはもしかしたらスマートフォンが与える情報を批判的に使える最後の世代になるかもしれない。政府の無能を明らかにする「スマートろうそく」は未来には期待できないかもしれない。

  雑誌『ハーバード・ビジネス・レビュー』の編集長だったニコラス・カーの著書『ネット・バカ』は、インターネットとスマートフォンが我々の脳を再プログラミングして神経系の素早い反応を煽るが、思索と深い思考を難しくさせるパターンに脳が慣れるようにするという科学的証拠を提示している。『ネット・バカ』は社会の差し迫った危機を把握したり解決策を提示したりすることはできない市民だ。彼らが主流になって社会を動かすことになれば、韓国はますます悪夢の世界に陥ることになるだろう。我々は果汁があふれる花から花へと飛び回る蝶のように、一つの刺激的な話から次の話に流れる日常を生きている。

  我々は何かが間違っていて正確な問題が何で、それが我々の行動とどのように関連があり、どのようにこれを解決するのかに対する計画を持たずに、ただ漠然とした意識を持ったまま、「読む」ことから遠ざかっている。このため、我々の世の中の認識方法を変えることができる特定技術が民主的過程にいかなる影響を及ぼすか追求し、その分析によってその技術拡散問題をどのように統制するべきかも考えてみなければならない。民主主義は、複雑な社会・経済・政治的な変化を理解する能力すら持たずに、ソーシャルメディアで最新の流行商品を選ぶように行われる投票では発展していくことはできない。

“스마트폰 없는 한국” 중앙일보

중앙일보

“스마트폰 없는 한국”

2018년 12월 7일

임마누엘 페스트라이쉬

스마트폰이 없는 한국을 상상해 보자는 제안을 할 때마다 한국인들은 내게 무슨 엉뚱한 소리냐는 표정을 지으며 그 이유를 묻는다. 그들은 내가 안경이나 망막에 정보를 투사하거나 전자 칩으로 두뇌에 정보를 직접 전달해 스마트폰을 사용하지 않아도 되는 더 첨단화된 ‘스마트 도시’를 떠올리면서 그런 제안을 하는 것으로 생각하기도 한다. 하지만 내가 제안하는 ‘스마트폰 없는 한국’의 의미는 글자 그대로다. 지금과 같은 스마트폰의 사용은 없어지거나 반드시 변해야 한다.

지하철을 탈 때마다 거의 모든 사람이 스마트폰에 빠져있는 광경을 본다. 한국인들은 주변 사람과 ‘절연’된 상태로 있고 싶어하는 듯하다. 게임에 몰입하거나 초콜릿 케이크나 유행하는 옷이 등장하는 사진들을 빠르게 넘긴다. 동영상을 보는 이도 많다. 우리 시대의 심각한 문제를 다룬 책을 읽는 사람은 찾기 어렵다.

그들은 한국이 기후변화 위기와 미국•러시아•중국 사이의 핵무기 경쟁이나 핵전쟁 위험에 대응하는 방법에 관해 관심을 보이지 않는다. 대부분의 언론 보도는 엔터테인먼트 콘텐트처럼 취급되거나 지나치게 단순화돼 있다. 최근 국회에 계류 중인 법안의 내용은 말할 것도 없고, 현재의 복잡한 지정학적 문제를 알려는 노력도 좀처럼 하지 않는다.

한국의 대기환경을 일례로 보자. 나는 한국인들이 자신들과 밀접하게 관련된 이 문제의 원인을 규명하지 못하는 모습을 보면서 충격과 고통을 느낀다. 심지어 고등교육을 받은 사람조차 한국과 중국의 미세 먼지 배출에 대한 정확한 원인을 모르거나, 한국과 중국의 산업 규제 완화에 대해 소비자로서 무엇을 해야 할지 신중하게 생각하지 않는 것 같다. 다시 말해서 사회적 현상이 마치 페이스북에 게시하는 ‘잡글’처럼 개별 요소로 분해돼 복잡한 현상을 분석하는 능력이 머릿속에서 형성되지 않는 것으로 느껴진다.

스마트폰이 한국인의 두뇌와 사회를 장악해 불길한 방향으로 계속 나아간다면 한국에는 공동체의 목표에 대한 헌신적 삶과 정치적 인식은 쇠퇴해 사라져 버릴 것이다. 그 징후는 이미 나타나고 있다. 충동적이고 불분명한 응답을 장려하는 소셜미디어의 확산과 함께 스마트폰이 이 비극에서 중요한 역할을 하는 것이 두렵다.

스마트폰이 미래 사회에 끼치는 역할에 대한 분석은 다양하다. 많은 전문가가 스마트폰이 우리 삶을 더욱 편리하게 만들고 무한한 양의 정보에 접근하는 것을 가능하게 한다고 한다. 우리가 필요로 하는 것에 잘 대응하게 해 삶을 보다 편안하게 한다는 것이다. 스마트폰은 민주주의의 확장에도 기여한다. 2010년 아랍권에서 일어난 ‘재스민 혁명’은 스마트폰이 대중에게 선사한 ‘정보의 민주화’가 촉발했다고 볼 수 있다. 최근 한국에서 일어난 ‘촛불혁명’도 비슷한 흐름 중 하나다.

그러나 핵심은 ‘정보의 양’이 아니라 ‘정보의 질’이다. 스마트폰을 통해 확산하는 정보가 질적으로 과연 우수하다고 볼 수 있는가. 현재 한국의 기성세대는 스마트폰 없이도 대학 내에서만큼은 민주주의를 꽃피웠던 청년들이다. 그들은 어쩌면 스마트폰이 주는 정보를 비판적으로 사용할 줄 아는 마지막 세대가 될지도 모른다. 정부의 무능을 밝히는 ‘스마트 촛불’은 미래엔 기대하기 어려울 수도 있다.

잡지 ‘하버드 비즈니스 리뷰’ 편집장이었던 니컬러스 카의 저서 『생각하지 않는 사람들』은 인터넷과 스마트폰이 우리의 뇌를 재프로그래밍하고 신경계의 빠른 반응을 부추기지만, 사색과 깊은 사고를 어렵게 만드는 패턴에 뇌가 익숙해지게 한다는 과학적 증거를 제시한다. ‘생각하지 않는 사람들’은 사회의 임박한 위기를 파악하거나 해결책을 제시할 수 없는 시민들이다. 그들이 주류가 돼 사회를 운영하게 된다면 한국은 점점 더 악몽의 세계에 빠지게 될 것이다.

우리는 과즙이 가득한 한 꽃에서 다른 꽃으로 옮겨가는 나비처럼 하나의 자극적 이야기에서 다음 이야기로 흘러가는 일상을 살고 있다. 우리는 무엇인가 잘못되었지만 정확한 문제가 무엇이고, 그것이 우리의 행동과 어떤 식으로 관련이 있으며, 어떻게 이를 해결할 것인가에 대한 계획 없이 그저 막연한 의식을 가진 채 ‘읽기’에서 멀어지고 있다. 이 때문에 우리의 세상 인식 방법을 바꿀 수 있는 특정 기술이 민주적 과정에 어떤 영향을 미치는지 따지고, 그 분석에 따라 그 기술 확산 문제를 어떻게 통제할지도 생각해 봐야 한다. 민주주의는 복잡한 사회•경제•정치적 변화들을 이해하는 능력조차 없이 소셜미디어에서 최신 유행의 상품을 고르는 것처럼 이뤄지는 투표로는 발전할 수 없다.

Emanuel’s talk at Global Green Growth Institute on sustainable growth for North Korea

On December 4, the Governance Department of the Office of the Director General, invited Professor Emanuel Pastreich, President of the Asia Institute as a speaker for a Green Bag Seminar at the GGGI Seoul headquarters.

Emanuel Pastreich on North Korea, security and climate change 

During the Seminar, Professor Pastreich talked about North Korea’s potential as both the threat and opportunity in dealing with the adverse effects of climate change. He also discussed the resolution of tension in Northeast Asia through a complete redefinition of the concept of “security” that draws on highlighting the threat of climate change to the region. Specifically, he raised a question to ponder about how the future development of North Korea should be focused so that it sets a model for collaboration as a response to climate change and gives future debate on security a new relevancy.

Emanuel Pastreich with Keeyong Chung, Director, Governance & Hyoeun Jenny Kim, Deputy Director-General and Head of Green Growth Planning and Implementation Division

Furthermore, he underscored the importance of China-Japan-Korea (CJK) cooperation in global issues such as climate change through a joint effort by the three governments. He noted that GGGI also has been playing a facilitating role in the CJK initiative with the progress with its relationship with Japan. He believes that intergovernmental organizations like GGGI have a key role to play in tackling global climate change such as climate change.

The Seminar was attended by colleagues at the Seoul HQ and country offices.

Link

Tears well up in my eyes

Over the last two weeks I have noticed that my eyes are filled with tears on occasion as I walk around the city. I do not know the cause. I honestly cannot tell whether my eyes fill up with tears because of increasing air pollution, or rather because I am deeply saddened by the tragedy that awaits humanity, but I cannot formulate, or express, that sadness. 

John Brown and the Provisional Constitution

“The Provisional Constitution and Ordinances for the people of the United States”

“The Provisional Constitution and Ordinances for the people of the United States,” in that it is even mentioned in historical texts, is dismissed as a document made up on the spot by John Brown’s lawyer Samuel Chilton when he defended Brown during the trial for insurrection for Brown’s actions at Harper’s Ferry in 1858.

But the more one thinks about John Brown’s actions, the clearer it becomes that this document was at the core of Brown’s actions, and the actions of his supporters, and that they saw their efforts, including the provisional constitution, as being entirely legal and entirely moral in nature.

From Brown’s perspective, he did not engage in insurrection at all, but rather the entire government of the South, and to a large extent, that of the entire United States was so corrupt and so far from the word and the spirit of its own constitution that it lacked any legitimacy. He presented a blue print for the rule by law and his actions were entirely legal and just from that point of view. “The Provisional Constitution” states that everyone, native, African American, immigrant, or otherwise is a citizen of the nation. It is radical statement only in comparison with accepted thinking of elites at the time. The provisional constitution represents a most obvious conclusion coming from the careful reading of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  

I am astonished at the degree to which his narrative has been distorted and ignored so as to make it almost impossible to see him as anything but a radical. In fact, it was Robert E Lee who attacked John Brown for standing up for the spirit of the constitution. Lee, not Brown, was the radical, the extremist.

As we wrestle with the complete decay of the rule of law today, it is critical that we read again what John Brown wrote back then. It is also critical that we understand that the tradition of constitutional law that we see in the United States Constitution of 1787 did not grow merely out of enlightenment thinking and the Magna Carta, but that it also has deep roots in the “Great Law of Peace” of the Iroquois Confederacy and other native constitutions. Written down in 1722, the “Great Law of Peace” dated back hundreds, if not thousands, of years and offered a powerful alternative to the exploitative tradition of the English colonies.

The Provisional Constitution was an attempt to fully embody the words of the constitution and perhaps its origins in the “Great Law of Peace” and as such was perhaps not anywhere as radical as its critics later claimed.

Here is the full text of the “Provisional Constitution”

Provisional Constitution and Ordinances for the people of the United States.

PREAMBLE.

Whereas slavery, throughout its entire existence in the United States, is none other than a most barbarous, unprovoked, and unjustifiable war of one portion of its citizens upon another portion-the only conditions ‘of which are perpetual imprisonment and hopeless servitude or absolute extermination-in utter disregard and violation of those eternal and self-evident truths set forth in our Declaration of Independence:

Therefore, we, citizens of the United States, and the oppressed people who, by a recent decision of the Supreme’ Court, are declared to have no rights which the white man is bound to respect, together with all other people degraded by the laws thereof, do, for the time being, ordain and establish for ourselves the following Provisional Constitu­tion and Ordinances, the better to protect our persons, property, lives, and liberties, and to govern our actions

ARTICLE I

Qualifications for membership

All persons of mature age, whether proscribed, oppressed, and enslaved citizens, or of the proscribed and oppressed races of the United States, who shall agree to sustain and enforce the Provisional Constitution and Ordinances of this organization, together with all minor children of such persons, shall be held to be fully entitled to protection under the same.

ARTICLE II.

Branches of government.

The provisional government of this organization shall consist of three branches, viz: legislative, executive, and judicial.

ARTICLE III.

Legislative.

The legislative branch shall be a Congress or House of Representative, composed of not less than five nor more than ten members, who shall be elected by all citizens of mature age and of sound mind con­nected with this organization, and who shall remain in office for three years, unless sooner removed for misconduct, inability, or by death. A majority of such members shall constitute a quorum.

ARTICLE IV.

Executive.

The executive branch of this organization shall consist of a President and Vice-President, who shall be chosen by the citizens or members of this organization, and each of whom shall hold his office for three years” unless sooner removed by death or for inability or misconduct.

ARTICLE V.

Judicial

The judicial branch of this organization shall consist of one Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and of four associate judges of said court, each constituting a circuit court. They shall each be chosen in the same manner as the President, and shall continue in office until their places have been filled in the same manner by election of the citizens. Said court shall have jurisdiction in all civil or criminal causes arising under this constitution, except breaches of the rules of war.

ARTICLE VI.

Validity of enactments.

All enactments of the legislative branch shall, to become valid during the first three years, have the approbation of the President and of the Commander-in-chief of the army.

ARTICLE VII.

Commander-in-chief.

A Commander-in-chief of the army shall be chosen by the President, Vice-President, a majority of the Provisional Congress, and of the Supreme Court, and he shall receive his commission from the President, signed by the Vice-President, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the Secretary of War, and he shall hold his office for three years, unless removed by death or on proof of incapacity or misbehavior. He shall, unless under arrest, (and until his place is actually filled as pro­vided for by this constitution,) direct all movements of the army and advise with any allies. He shall, however, be tried, removed, or pun­ished, on complaint of the President, by at least three general officers, or a majority of the House of Representatives, or of the Supreme Court; which House of Representatives, (the President presiding,) the Vice-President, and the members of the Supreme Court, shall consti­tute a court-martial for his trial; with power to remove or punish, as the case may require, and to fill his place, as above provided.

ARTICLE VIII.

Officers.

A Treasurer, Secretary of State, Secretary of War, and Secretary of the Treasury, shall each be chosen, for the first three years, in the same way and manner as the Commander-in-chief, subject to trial or removal on complaint of the President, Vice-President, or Commander in-chief, to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, or on complaint of the majority of the members of said court or the Provisional Congress. The Supreme Court shall have power to try or punish either of those officers, and their places shall be filled as before.

ARTICLE IX.

Secretary of War.

The Secretary of War shall be under the immediate direction of the Commander-in-chief, who may temporarily fill his place in case of arrest or of any inability to serve.

ARTICLE X.

Congress or House of Representatives.

The House of Representatives shall make ordinances providing for the appointment (by the President or otherwise) of all civil officers, excepting those already named; and shall have power to. make all laws and ordinances for the general good, not inconsistent with this Constitution and these ordinances.

ARTICLE XI.

Appropriation of money

The Provisional Congress shall have power to appropriate money or other property actually in the hands of the treasurer, to any object calculated to promote the general good, so far as may be consistent with the provisions of this constitution; and may, in certain cases, appropriate for a moderate compensation of agents, or persons not members of this organization, for any important service they are known to have rendered.

ARTICLE XII.

Special duties.

It shall be the duty of Congress to provide for the instant removal of any civil officer or policeman, who becomes habitually intoxicated, or who is addicted to other immoral conduct, or to any neglect or unfaithfulness in the discharge of his official duties. Congress shall also be a Standing Committee of Safety, for the purpose of obtaining important information; and shall be in constant communication with the Commander-in-chief; the members of which shall each, as also the President, Vice-President, members of the Supreme Court, and Secretary of State, have full power to issue warrants, returnable as Congress shall ordain (naming witnesses, &c.,) upon their own information, without the formality of a complaint. Complaint shall be immediately made after arrest, and before trial; the party arrested to be served with a copy at once.

ARTICLE XIII.

Trial of President and other Officers

The President and Vice-President may either of them be tried, removed, or punished, on complaint made to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, by a majority of the House of Representatives; which house together with the Associate Judges of the Supreme Court, the whole to be presided over by the Chief Justice in case of the trial of the Vice-President, shall have full power to try such officers, to remove or punish as the case may require, and to fill any vacancy so occurring, the same as in the case of the Commander-in-chief.

ARTICLE XIV.

Trial of members of Congress.

The members of the House of Representatives may, any and all of them, be tried, and, on conviction, removed or punished, on complaint before the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, made by any number of the members of said house exceeding one-third; which house, with the Vice-President and Associate Judges of the Supreme Court, shall constitute the proper tribunal with power to fill such vacancies.

ARTICLE XV.

Impeachment of Judges.

Any member of the Supreme Court may also be impeached, tried, convicted, or punished by removal or otherwise, Oil complaint to the President, who shall in such case, preside; the Vice-President, House of Representatives, and other members of the Supreme Court, consti­tuting the proper tribunal, (with power to fill vacancies,) on complaint of a majority of said House of Representatives, or of the Supreme Court; a majority of the whole having power to decide.

ARTICLE XVI.

Duties of President and Secretary of State.

The President, with the Secretary of State; shall, immediately upon entering on the duties of their office, give special attention to secure from amongst their own people, men of integrity, intelligence, and good business habits and capacity, and, above an, of first-rate moral and religious character and influence, to act as civil officers of every description and grade, as well as teachers, chaplains, physicians, sur­geons, mechanics, agents of every description, clerks, and messengers. They shall make special efforts to induce, at the earliest possible period, persons and families of that description to locate themselves within the limits secured by this organization; and shall, moreover, from time to time, supply the names and residence of such persons to the Congress, for their special notice and information, as among the most important of their duties; and the President is herebyauth9rized and empowered to afford special aid to such individuals, from such moderate appropriations as the Congress shall be able and may deem advisable to make for that object. The President and Secretary of State, and in all cases of disagreement the Vice-President, shall appoint all civil officers, but shall not have power to remove any officer. All removals shall be the result of a fair trial, whether civil or military.

ARTICLE XVII.

Further duties.

It shall be the duty of the President and Secretary of State to find out (as soon as possible) the real friends as well as enemies of this organization in every part of the country; to secure among them inn­keepers, private postmasters, private mail contractors, messengers, and agents, through whom may be obtained correct and regular in­formation constantly; recruits for the service, places of deposit and sale, together with all needed supplies; and it shall be matter of special regard to secure such facilities through the northern States.

ARTICLE XVII.

Duty of the President.

It shall be the duty of the President, as well as the House of Rep­resentatives, at all times, to inform the Commander-in-chief of any matter that may require his attention, or that may affect the public safety.

ARTICLE XIX.

Duty of President, continued.

It shall be the duty of the President to see that the provisional ordinances of this organization, and those made by the Congress, are promptly and faithfully executed; and he may, in cases of great urgency, call on the Commander-in-chief of the army or other officers for aid; it being, however, intended that a sufficient civil police shall always be in readiness to secure implicit obedience to law.

ARTICLE XX.

The Vice-President.

The Vice-President shall be the presiding officer of the Provisional Congress, and in cases of tie shall give the casting vote.

ARTICLE XXI.

Vacancies.

In case of the death, removal, or inability of the President, the Vice President, and, next to him, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall be the President during the remainder of the term; and the place of the Chief Justice, thus made vacant, shall be filled by Con­gress from’ some of the members of said court; and the places of the Vice-President and Associate Justice, thus made vacant, filled by an election by the united action of the Provisional Congress and members of the Supreme Court. All other vacancies, not heretofore specially provided for, shall, during the first three years, be filled by the united action of the President, Vice-President, Supreme Court, and Commander-in-chief of the army.

ARTICLE XXII.

Punishment of crimes.

The punishment of crimes not capital, except in case of insubordinate convicts or other prisoners, shall be (so far as may be) by hard labor on the public works, roads, &c.

ARTICLE XXIII.

Army appointments.

It shall be the duty of all commissioned officers of the army to name candidates of merit, for office or elevation, to the Commander-in-chief, who, with the Secretary of War, and, in. cases of disagreement, the President, shall be the appointing power of the army; and all commissions of military officers shall bear the signatures of the Commander in-chief and the Secretary of War. And it shall be the special duty of the Secretary of War to keep for constant reference of the Commander-in-chief a full list of names of persons nominated for office or elevation by the officers of the army, with the name and rank of the officer nominating, stating distinctly, but briefly, the grounds for such notice or nomination. The Commander-in-chief shall not have power to remove or punish any officer or soldier, but he may order their arrest and trial at any time by court-martial.

ARTICLE XXIV.

Courts-martial.

Courts-martial for companies, regiments, brigades, &c., shall be called by the chief officer of each command, on complaint to him by any officer, or any five privates in such command, and shall consist of not less than five nor more than nine officers, non-commissioned offi­cers and privates, one half of whom shall not be lower in rank than the person on trial, to be chosen by the three highest officers in the command, which officers shall not be a part of such court. The chief officer of any command shall, of course, be tried by a court-martial of the command above his own. All decisions affecting the lives of per­sons, or office of persons holding commission, must, before taking full effect, have the signature of the Commander-in-chief, who may also, on the recommendation of at least one third of the members of the court-martial finding any sentence, grant a reprieve or commutation of the same.

ARTICLE XXV.

Salaries.

No person connected with this organization shall be entitled to any salary, pay, or emolument, other than a competent support of himself and family, unless it be from an equal dividend made of public prop­erty, on the establishment of peace, or of special provision by treaty; which provision shall be made for all persons who may have been in any active civil or military service at any time previous to any hostile action for liberty and equality.

ARTICLE XXVI.

Treaties of peace.

Before any treaty of peace shall take full effect it shall be signed by the President and Vice-President, the Commander-in-chief, a majority of the House of Representatives, a majority of the Supreme Court, and a majority of all the general officers of the army.

ARTICLE XXVII.

Duty of the military.

It shall be the duty of the Commander-in-chief and all officers and soldiers of the army to afford special protection, when needed, to Con­gress or any member thereof, to the Supreme Court or any member thereof, to the President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, and Secretary of War; and to afford gen­eral protection to all civil officers or other persons having right to the same.

ARTICLE XXVIII.

Property.

All captured or confiscated property and all property the product of the labor of those belonging to this organization and of their fami­lies, shall. be held as the property of the whole, equally, without distinction, and may be used for the common benefit, or disposed of for the same object; and any person, officer, or otherwise, who shall improperly retain, secrete, use, or needlessly destroy such property, or property found, captured, or confiscated, belonging to the enemy, or shall willfully neglect to render a full and fair statement of such property by him so taken or held, shall be deemed guilty of a misde­meanor, and, on conviction, shall be punished accordingly.

ARTICLE XXIX.

Safety or intelligence fund.

All money, plate, watches, or jewelry captured by honorable war­fare, found, taken, or confiscated, belonging to the enemy, shall be held sacred to constitute a liberal safety or intelligence fund; and any person who shall improperly retain, dispose of, hide, use, or destroy such money or other article above named, contrary to the provisions and spirit of this article, shall be deemed guilty of theft, and, on con­viction thereof, shall be punished accordingly. The treasurer shall furnish the Commander-in-chief at all times with a full statement of the condition of such fund, and its nature.

ARTICLE XXX.

The Commander-in-chief and the treasury.

The Commander-in-chief shall have power to draw from the treasury the money and other property of the fund provided for in article twenty-ninth; but his orders shall be signed also by the Secretary of War, who shall keep strict account of the same subject to examination by any member of Congress or general officer.

ARTICLE XXXI.

Surplus of the safety or intelligence fund.

It shall be the duty of the Commander-in-chief to advice the President of any surplus of the safety and intelligence fund, who shall have power to draw such surplus (his order being also signed by the Secretary of State) to enable him to carry out the provisions of article seventeenth.

ARTICLE XXXII.

Prisoners.

No person, after having surrendered himself or herself a prisoner, and who shall properly demean himself or herself as such, to any officer or private connected with this organization, shall afterward be put to death, or be subject to any corporeal punishment, without first having had the benefit of a fair and impartial trial; nor shall any prisoner be treated with any kind of cruelty, disrespect, insult, or needless severity; but it shall be the duty of all persons, male and female, connected herewith, at all times and under all circumstances, to treat all such prisoners with every degree of respect and kindness that the nature of the circumstances will admit of, and to insist on a like course of conduct from all others, as in the fear of Almighty God, to whose care and keeping we commit our cause.

ARTICLE XXXIII.

Voluntaries.

All persons who may come forward, and shall voluntarily deliver up their slaves, and have their names registered on the books of the organization, shall, so long as they continue at peace, be entitled to the fullest protection of person and property, though not connected with this organization, and shall be treated as friends and not merely as persons neutral.

ARTICLE XXXIV.

Neutrals.

The persons and property of all non-slaveholders, who shall remain absolutely neutral, shall be respected so far as the circumstances can allow of it, but they shall not be entitled to any active protection.

ARTICLE XXXV.

No needless waste.

The needless waste or destruction of any useful property or article by fire, throwing open of fences, fields, buildings, or needless killing of animals, or injury of either, shall not be tolerated at any time or place, but shall be promptly and properly punished.

ARTICLE XXXVI.

Property confiscated.

The entire personal and real property of all persons known to be acting either directly or indirectly with or for the enemy, or Found in arms with them, or found willfully holding slaves, shall be confis­cated and taken whenever and wherever it may be found in either free or slave States.

ARTICLE XXXVII.

Desertion.

Persons convicted on impartial trial of desertion to the enemy, after becoming members, acting as spies, or of treacherous surrender of property, ammunition, provisions, or supplies of any kind, roads, bridges, persons, or fortifications shall be put to death, and their entire property confiscated.

ARTICLE XXXVIII.

Violation of parole of honor.

Persons proven to be guilty of taking up arms after having been set at liberty on parole of honor, or, after the same, to have taken any active part with or for the enemy, direct or indirect, shall be put to death, and their entire property confiscated.

ARTICLE XXXIX.

All must labor.

All persons connected in any way with this organization, and who may be entitled to full protection under it, shall be held as under obligation to labor in some way for the general good; and persons refusing or neglecting so to do, shall, on conviction, receive a suitable and appropriate punishment.

ARTICLE XL.

Irregularities.

Profane swearing, filthy conversation, indecent behavior, or indecent exposure of the person, or intoxication or quarreling, shall not be allowed or tolerated, neither unlawful intercourse of the sexes.

ARTICLE XLI.

Crimes.

Persons convicted of the forcible violation of any female prisoner shall be put to death.

ARTICLE XLII.

The marriage relation, schools, the Sabbath.

The marriage relation shall be at all times respected, and families kept together, as far as possible; and broken families encouraged to reunite, and intelligence offices established for that purpose. Schools and churches established, as soon as may be, for the purpose of reli­gious and other instructions; for the first day of the week, regarded as a day of rest, and appropriated to moral and religious instruction and improvement, relief of the suffering, instruction of the young and ignorant, and the encouragement of personal cleanliness; nor shall any persons be required on that day to perform ordinary manual labor, unless in extremely urgent cases.

ARTICLE XLIII.

Carry arms openly.

All persons known to be of good character and of sound mind and suitable age, who are connected with this organization, whether male or female, shall be encouraged to carry arms openly.

ARTICLE XLIV.

No person to carry concealed weapons.

No person within the limits of the conquered territory, except regularly appointed policemen, express officers of the army, mail carriers, or other fully accredited messengers of the Congress, President, Vice President, members of the Supreme Court, or commissioned officers of the army-and those only under peculiar circumstances-shall be allowed at any time to carry concealed weapons; and any person not specially authorized so to do, who shall be found so doing, shall be deemed a suspicious person, and may at once be arrested by any officer, soldier, or citizen, without the formality of a complaint or warrant, and may at once be subjected to thorough search, and shall have his or her case thoroughly investigated, and be dealt with as circumstances on proof shall require.

ARTICLE XLV.

Persons to be seized.

Persons within the limits of the territory holden by this organiza­tion, not connected with this organization, having arms at all, concealed or otherwise, shall be seized at once, or, be taken in charge of some vigilant officer, and their case thoroughly investigated; and it shall be the duty of all citizens and soldiers, as well as officers, to arrest such parties as are named in this and the preceding section or article, without the formality of complaint or warrant; and they shall be placed in charge of some proper officer for examination or for safe­keeping.

ARTICLE XLVI.

These articles not for the overthrow of government.

The foregoing articles shall not be construed so as in any way to encourage the overthrow of any State government, or of the general government of the United States, and look to no dissolution of the Union, but simply to amendment and repeal. And our flag shall be the same that our fathers fought under in the Revolution.

ARTICLE XLVII.

No plurality of offices.

No two of the offices specially provided for by this instrument shall be filled by the same person at the same time.

ARTICLE XLVIII.

Oath.

Every officer, civil or military, connected with this organization shall, before entering upon the duties of his office, make solemn oath or affirmation to abide by and support this provisional constitution and these ordinances; also every citizen and soldier, before being fully recognized as such, shall do the same.

Schedule.

The president of this convention shall convene, immediately on the adoption of this instrument, a convention of all such persons as shall have given their adherence by signature to the constitution, who shall proceed to fill, by election, all offices specially named in said constitution, the president of this convention presiding, and issuing commissions to such officers elect; all such officers being thereafter elected in the manner provided in the body of this instrument.

Source: Provisional Constitution 

“Korea without smartphones”

Korea Times

“Korea without smartphones”

December 2, 2018

Emanuel Pastreich

Imagine Korea withoutsmartphones.

When I make this suggestion, the response I receive from Koreans is one of intense fascination. But the assumption they make is that I am going to describe a futuristic “smart city” in which we no longer will use smart phones because information will be projected on to our eyeglasses, or our retinas, or perhaps relayed directly to our brain via an implanted chip. 

But I mean exactly what I say. The unrelenting takeover ofour brains and of our society by the smartphone is taking an ominous turn. 

Each day I watch almost every person on the subway lost in their smartphones, and increasingly lacking empathy for those around them as a result. They are mesmerized by video games; they flip quickly past photographs of chocolate cakes and cafe lattes, or fashionable dresses and shoes, or watch humorous short videos. 

Few are reading careful investigative reporting, let alone books, that address the serious issues of our time. Nor are they debating with each other about how Korea will respond to the crisis of climate change, the risk of a nuclear arms race (or nuclear war) between the United States, Russia and China. Most media reporting is being dumbed down, treated as a form of entertainment, not a duty to inform the public. 

Few people are sufficiently focused these days even to comprehend the complex geopolitical issues of the day, let alone the content of the bills pending in the National Assembly. 

We are watching a precipitous decline in political awareness and of commitment to common goals in South Korea. And I fear that the smartphone, along with the spread of a social media that encourages impulsive and unfocused responses, is playing a significant role in this tragedy. 

What do those smartphones do? We are told that smartphones make our lives more convenient and give us access to infinite amounts of information. IT experts are programming smartphones to be even more responsive to our needs and to offer even more features to make our lives more comfortable.

But Nicholas Carr’s book “The Shallows: What the internet is Doing to our Brains” presents extensive scientific evidence that the internet as a whole, and smartphones in particular, are in fact reprogramming our brains, encouraging the neurons to develop lasting patterns for firing that encourages quick responses but that make contemplation and deep thought difficult. 

Over time, we are creating a citizenship through that technology that is incapable of grasping an impending crisis and unable or unwilling to propose and implement solutions. 

If smartphones are reprogramming our brains so that we are drawn to immediate gratification, but lose our capacity for deeper contemplation, for achieving an integrated understanding of the complexity of human society, and of nature, what will become of us?

But consumption, not understanding, let alone wisdom, is the name of the game for smartphones. 

In the case of the worsening quality of the air in Korea, I observe a disturbing passivity, and also a painful failure of citizens to identify the complex factors involved. Even highly educated people seem not to have thought carefully about the exact factors behind the emissions of fine dust in Korea, and in China, and how that pollution is linked to the deregulation of industry, or to their behavior as consumers. 

That is to say those phenomena in society have been broken down into discrete elements, like postings on Facebook, and that no overarching vision of complex trends is ever formed in the mind. 

We float from one stimulating story to the next, like a butterfly flitting from one nectar-laden flower to another. We come away from our online readings with a vague sense that something is wrong, but with no deep understanding of what exactly the problem is, how it relates to our actions, and no game plan for how to solve it. 

There is a powerful argument to be made that certain technologies that can alter how we perceive the world should be limited in their use if there is reason to believe they affect the core of the democratic process. Democracy is not about voting so much as the ability to understand complex changes in society, in the economy and in politics over time. 

Without such an ability to think for ourselves, we will slip into an increasingly nightmare world, although we may never notice what happened.

“NK sanctions: Green light for profit seekers and red light for concerned citizens” Korea Times

Korea Times

“NK sanctions: Green light for profit seekers and red light for concerned citizens”

December 1, 2018

Emanuel Pastreich

Although the newspapers give us wall-to-wall reports about the tight economic sanctions that North Korea is subject to, sanctions meant to bring it to its knees and make it give up its nuclear weapons program forever, we also observe a steady flow of articles about meetings between government officials, Korean corporations and North Korean officials to discuss investment, infrastructure and other business opportunities. The Japanese and Chinese media have also offered occasional references to such confidential business negotiations.

Then the North Koreans came to South Korea to check out Pangyo’s Techno Valley on November 14 for a special tour of its facilities. That program was obviously only part of a larger program of negotiations and discussions for North Korea’s development.

So what is the point of those “crippling” economic sanctions that limit all interactions with North Korea? Well, it appears as if the sanctions are intended to block the participation of little people in the dialogue with North Korea that is obviously advancing quickly. We have lots of discussions with major corporations and North Korean officials. But we do not have Korean environmental groups, or other NGOs concerned with the environmental impact of the projects being discussed, travelling to North Korea. In fact, we do not even have a discussion in the Korean press about the criteria by which it is determined who is subject to the sanctions, and who is not.

Let us focus in on one important shift in South Korean policy toward North Korea that may have tremendous significance.

When President Moon Jae-in recently shook up his economic team, supposedly to make it more “market friendly,” he appointed, on November 7, Goldman Sachs economic analyst Kwon Goo-hoon as chairman of the Presidential Committee on Northern Economic Cooperation, a position with the rank of minister. Kwon had previously been based in Hong Kong.

The official story is that President Moon was moved by Kwon’s talk on KBS about the Fourth Industrial Revolution entitled “Brilliant Insights reaching out 10,000 miles” and then personally decided to appoint him.

The most serious problem, buried by much of the press, is the fact that Kwon will keep his position as an analyst at Goldman Sachs while serving as chairman for this committee. The conflict of interest is blatant, as Goldman Sachs could potentially stand to make billions of dollars from speculation in North Korean development, and other economic interactions of South Korea with Russia and China related to the work of the committee. That would be truer if it has access to juicy information that is not shared with others because of the so-called “economic sanctions.”

The previous chairman of this critical committee for coordinating North Korean policy for government and industry, together with China, Russia and other nations, was the National Assemblyman Song Young-gil, who stepped down in July. Song has had a long and deep interest in North Korea dating back to his undergraduate days, and he was fully qualified, with no conflict of interest, to serve as chairman.

When it came to finding a replacement, there were plenty of government officials, politicians and academics who could easily have replaced Song.

The official statement from the Blue House regarding the reasons for Kwon’s appointment reads:

“In response to the movement of relations with the North into a period of action, Mr. Kwon was most appropriate because of his work with international organizations and investment institutions.”

In a sense, his blatant conflict of interest is presented as his strongest point. Perhaps if you are working with the allegedly corrupt Trump administration there is some truth to that statement.

We can infer something about what Kwon’s role may be from an article that appeared in the Financial Times on November 4.

The opening sentence of the Financial Times article says it all:

“South Korea has named a senior Goldman Sachs economist to help bolster economic ties with North Korea amid growing signs of discord between Seoul and Washington over how to deal with Pyongyang.”

The poorly formed sentence speaks volumes. The author is trying to explain how the decision was made without giving away the story ― he fails of course, and spills the beans.

What does Goldman Sachs have to offer that will “bolster economic ties” with North Korea? Certainly someone who spent the past few years in Hong Kong handling portfolios for a global firm that will try to squeeze money out of anything, from the destruction of rainforests and mining of low-grade coal, to investments in factories around the world that employ people under miserable conditions ― a firm that devotes itself to casino speculation in currencies and in commodities and has no expertise on North Korea as it is lived by North Koreans. More importantly, he has been trained not to care about people or about the long-term of a country.

Goldman Sachs has no interest in educating North Koreans about climate change, in advocating for the right of North Koreans to organize labor unions, or to drink safe water, or ensuring that they will have pensions and excellent medical care.

Kwon will be deeply involved in plans for North Korea’s development but has the wrong motivations and the wrong training to do what needs to be done.

The Goldman Sachs connection is helpful to the Blue House in that it can be used as a conduit in making a deal with the vultures surrounding Donald Trump. Perhaps the relationship will give some financial benefits to some in Seoul when Wall Street carves up North Korea Iraq-style. Certainly Kwon has an acute sense of what those around Trump actually want.

The Financial Times goes on the explain that “Seoul is pushing for greater economic engagement, while Washington has maintained a hard line on enforcing sanctions in an effort to spur the denuclearization of North Korea.” Maybe. But we have not seen a ghost of a trace of efforts to promote denuclearization by Trump and associates.

If Trump was interested in reducing the threat of war in Northeast Asia, he would push the United States to adopt a no “first strike” policy for nuclear weapons and he would honor and expand existing treaties.

The article cites a Blue House official, spokesman Yoon Young-chan stating why Kwon is so qualified,

“(Kwon) is going to provide us with new insight and imagination to create the new growth engine of our economy by pushing ahead with northern economic co-operation, such as energy links and the development of a northern sea route.”

Let us parse this cryptic statement. How might it be that the Goldman Sachs analyst imagines Seoul will create a “new growth engine” through “northern economic co-operation,” “energy links” and “northern sea route?”

The vague term “new growth engine” refers to the false assumption that the speculative activities of investment banks will create real jobs for ordinary people. The incentive for such banks is to drive down wages, not raise them, and they are attracted to North Korea in that its wages are lower, not because of any potential it has to develop its potential or increase its standard of living. The only way to improve the situation in North Korea is to severely limit the actions of foreign banks (much as Park Chung-hee did in the 1960s and 1970s) and build up domestic expertise.

“Energy links” refers to money to be made by investment banks by pumping oil and gas through pipes from Russia, over North Korea, and on into South Korea, and perhaps beyond. The investment banks are deeply concerned with this pipeline. They want to make sure that the operation of the pipeline is private, and it is not cooperative, or run by the government. They want the discussions about who will own and run the pipeline to be opaque and the profits to be made to be kept out of the public record.

Needless to say, there is no discussion in the media about the catastrophic impact of oil, coal and natural gas on the climate regionally and globally. “Energy links” may also refer to strip mining North Korea for coal. One thing is for sure, Goldman Sachs is never going to suggest that the coal should be left in the ground, or the use of fossil fuels be quickly reduced to zero to avoid catastrophic climate change.

There are multiple interpretations possible for the expression “northern sea route,” but most likely it refers to the current bid to make money off of the melting of the Arctic by establishing new sea routes to Europe to the north of Russia, thus further damaging the ecosystem, releasing more emissions and of course making money for a handful of people.

But the kicker in the article is this line, “Amid sluggish growth at home, Seoul has increasingly looked to North Korea, with its untapped markets, substantial mineral deposits and inordinately cheap workforce.” That is to say that the creation of a destructive consumption economy in North Korea, and the construction of highways and apartment buildings will make some people quick cash, even if that process is ultimately destructive to the culture and society of North Korea.

There is a great attraction for some in that coal, iron and rare-earth metals can be mined in North Korea without concern for environmental impact, or for the rights of labor, or concern about where the profits go. What do you think the priority will be for a Goldman Sachs economist?

I find the term “inordinately cheap workforce” to be inordinately offensive. North Korea is attractive to Kwon and his friends because it offers laborers who have a good work ethic and will accept low salaries so they can be used as a substitute for laborers in Vietnam, or Myanmar, or China. The concern is 1000 percent about overseas profits and zero percent about North Koreans.

If anything, investment banks would like to use North Korea as a lever to drive down labor costs in South Korea and perhaps as a hammer to crush South Korean labor unions in the same way that American banks financed right-to-work factories in the South as a means of breaking the power of unions in the North.

What exactly is Goldman Sachs best known for? One of its greatest recent achievements was its work in Greece, where it engineered a program in 2015 that hid the true debt that the country took on and doubled the amount before producing a financial crisis that leveled the country. Goldman Sachs promoted the predatory lending in the United States that brought on the subprime crisis and destroyed many middle-income families in that country, and around the world. Goldman Sachs also lobbied for government policies that cut essential services to ordinary citizens and took advantage of tax dollars to generate private profit.

Goldman Sachs is expert at exploiting local residents to create profits for its clients overseas and engaging in open deceptions about the impact of the policies it pushes. Any careful analysis of its credentials would suggest that its former employees, let alone current employees, should be banned permanently from government work.

Of course, the claim that someone with a Goldman Sachs background could be helpful for resolving problems with the Trump administration is entirely appropriate. The Trump administration is dominated by members of this Goldman Sachs to a degree never seen in American history. The “vampire squid” that makes a profit through parasitic economic leveraging produced Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who had run various hedge funds and then gutted Sears for personal profit, before taking on the U.S. economy.

The short-sighted, profit-driven view of North Korea is not limited to the supercomputers calculating profits at Goldman Sachs. The National Land Forum on “Land use and infrastructure in an age of North-South Economic Cooperation” that was held on November 19 featured presentations by four professors, all experts in construction and development, who gave their perspectives on the potential of North Korea. The underlying assumption behind all four presentations was that the massive industrialization of South Korea, its tremendous dependency on imports of petroleum, coal and foodstuffs, the development of a consumption society that encourages waste and alienation, and a ruthlessly competitive culture were positive developments that should be introduced into North Korea quickly.

Two talks described North Korea as a “blue ocean” for building infrastructure that would revive the construction industry where some once imagined under President Lee Myung-bak that they would make a fortune in the Middle East and Central Asia.

There was no discussion in any of the talks about educating North Koreans, about training North Koreans to conduct environmental impact studies, about renewable energy, or about the impact of climate change on North Korea. Nor was the need to restore lost soil in North Korea touched on, or the need for reforestation.

Professor Choi Ki-ju of Ajoo University mentioned a fascinating statistic in his presentation. He noted that domestic transportation in North Korea is 86 percent rail, 12 percent highways and roads and 2 percent waterways. South Korea is, according to him, the reverse, with about 85 percent of transportation carried on by highways and roads.

But the implication of his talk was that North Korea should start building freeways and filling them with automobiles that release deadly emissions. The conclusion should have been that South Korea should adopt the healthier ratio that North Korea has kept since before highways were introduced en masse by Park Chung-hee as part of his development scheme.

North Korea does offer tremendous opportunities for South Korea, but the focus on development must change. We need to spend more time thinking about how individuals, families and local communities can work together with North Koreans to build new systems for education, for culture and for public service. A healthy integration will take place between individuals over years. It cannot possibly be achieved by those who calculate short-term profits. Moreover, climate change has altered the entire game so that ideas about development, even from recent history, no longer apply. Anyone who is accustomed to thinking only in terms of profit does not have much of a role in North Korea at this critical moment.

“COREA AS COMMONS” SEMINAR DECEMBER 11

“COREA AS COMMONS: COOPERATIVE CITIZEN-CENTERED CONCEPTS FOR CONNECTING THE COREAS”

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2018

7:00-8:30 PM

@ COMMONS GROUND 3F

A MAJOR SHIFT HAS TAKEN PLACE IN RELATIONS BETWEEN NORTH AND SOUTH KOREA RECENTLY THAT OPENS UP THE PROSPECT OF INTEGRATION ON A LARGE SCALE IN THE NEAR FUTURE AND OFFERS THE REAL POTENTIAL FOR UNIFICATION. YET THE ENTIRE PROCESS TODAY BEING DRIVEN BY THE LOGIC THAT THE MARKET-ORIENTED, CONSUMPTION-DRIVEN ECONOMY DOMINATED BY FINANCE AND MASSIVE CORPORATIONS IN SOUTH KOREA MUST BE A GODSEND FOR NORTH KOREA. YET THE SOUTH KOREAN MODEL HAS LED TO SERIOUS DEGRADATION OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND CREATED A CRUELLY COMPETITIVE SOCIETY FOR ITS CITIZENS RESULTING IN LOW BIRTHRATES, LOW MARRIAGE RATES, AND HIGH SUICIDE RATES. MUST NORTH KOREA CHOOSE BETWEEN AN EXTRACTIVE ECONOMY CONTROLLED BY ELITE SHAREHOLDERS AND A STAGNANT AND CORRUPT SOCIALIST SYSTEM? OR IS THERE A THIRD WAY POSSIBLE THAT IS BASED ON THE COMMONS, A SHARED ECONOMY? COULD THE FUTURE OF KOREA’S ECONOMY, BOTH NORTH AND SOUTH, SIMULTANEOUSLY HARKEN BACK TO KOREA’S TRADITIONAL CULTURE AND ALSO INTRODUCE THE BEST OF P2P CULTURE FROM AROUND THE WORLD? THE DISCUSSION WILL BE, OF COURSE, ENTIRELY PARTICIPATORY.

DISCUSSION LED BY

 

CHOI YONG-KWAN

PRESIDENT

COMMONS FOUNDATION

 

EMANUEL PASTREICH

PRESIDENT

THE ASIA INSTITUTE

(DIRECTOR OF EARTH MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE)

LAKHVINDER SINGH

DIRECTOR

KOREA PEACE MOVEMENT

 

최근남북한관계에서큰변화가일어났으며이는가까운장래에대규모의통합가능성을열어주고진정한통일가능성을제공해준다. 그러나오늘날모든과정은한국의금융과대기업이지배하는시장지향적이고소비지향적인경제가북한에대한 ‘신의선물’이어야한다는논리에의해추진되고있다. 게다가한국모델은심각한환경파괴를초래했고낮은출산율과낮은혼인율,높은자살률로인해국민들을잔인한경쟁사회로내몰았다. 북한은엘리트주주들에의해지배되는경제와침체되고부패한사회주의체제사이에서선택해야하는가? 아니면커먼즈에기반을둔세번째방법이있을까? 남북한 모두 포함되는 한국경제의미래가한국의전통문화를되돌아보고동시에전세계에서온최고의 P2P 문화를소개할수있을까? 논의는물론전적으로참여 가능하다.

Reference: “Corea as Commons”

SPONSORED BY:

THE COMMONS FOUNDATION

THE ASIA INSTITUTE

KOREA PEACE MOVEMENT

THE EARTH MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE

WORLD BEYOND WAR