PS on NK
Just after writing this praiseful entry
on the Philharmonic in NoKo, I was listening to Jerry Doyle, the only major talker who gets things right in general. By 'right in general' I mean that he understands national interest; that he thinks like a Rohrabacher.
Doyle treated the cultural exchange with raw contempt, called it a "feel-good" gesture.
When my take on an important question differs from a solid thinker like Doyle, I need a damn good reason, or at least need to justify the difference.
Here's the justification, for what it's worth.
I start as always from scientific premises. Start from genes, from the fact that People Are Different, and most of those differences are innate. Start from the fact that all human traits, talents and tendencies, from height to intelligence to morality to sexual preference to automotive preference, are mostly determined by DNA.
The 'separated twins' studies, basically completed in the 60s but strictly censored until recently, proved this point in great detail.
North and South Korea are a national example of separated twins. They differ in appearance and behavior because they've been adopted by different political systems, but before the separation they were a homogeneous group, nearly insular, with very little mingling and mixing of other cultures and races. Thus, given a specific stimulus or input, we can assume that they will respond or adjust in the same way. Well, what happens when you "treat" the Korean genes with Communism? You get starvation. What happens when you "treat" the Korean genes with Capitalism and Christianity? You get a lively, highly innovative, highly prosperous and highly moral country. You get a country that loves democracy enough to have actual fistfights in Parliament, a country that sends missionaries to Mohammedan regions and builds fine cars, fine computers and fine pianos.
Then it's a safe bet that the Northern twin will respond similarly when she gets a chance to experience
the reality of capitalism, as opposed to hearing
standard Stalinist propaganda about capitalism.
Now let's apply the same experiment to Arabs. What happens when you mix a little Western culture with the Arab genes? The best they can do is Egypt. Not very damn good.
And when you expose them to modern American culture, they go berserk and start bombing everything in sight.
In short, Arabs have been given plenty of chances to straighten up and fly right, and each time they choose to fly into buildings.
That's why I'm totally pessimistic about redeeming Arabs and totally optimistic about redeeming North Korea.