Thursday, June 10, 2010

Less individualistic societies overseas demand a lot of sacrifice: lessons from Israel, then DRNK

The newspapers today carried a couple of stories about the “self-sacrifice” that is a way of life overseas, in two very diverse circumstances.

Robert McCartney, at the bottom of the Metro lead page in The Washington Post today (June 10), writes “Md. Student pays enormous price in Israel protest, has no regrets,” link here.

Emily Henochowicz went to Israel as an exchange student to study film animation, and decided to participate in protests against the eviction of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem. Caught in the crossfire of Israeli military action, she lost an eye.

Then, today, on the front page of the New York Times, Sharon La Franiere writes “Hidden misery: A glimpse into North Korea”, link here.

The article does seem to follow up on some ABC 20-20 and some CNN Amanpour reports from about three years ago, but the interesting topic is the currency devaluation, which has wiped out the “savings” of many North Koreans. The long article goes into Communist expropriation. “The haves gave to the have-nots.” And the haves were wiped out, taking their turns at hunger and shame. It sounds like Maoism.

When I was in the Army, we used to make fun of Marxism in the barracks at Fort Eustis. “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” Hardly. At least we never had to go back to the bay.

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