Ron Jacobs wrote this article: www.counterpunch.org/2012/10/12/lessons-from-korea/, and it would perhaps be worthwhile to read it for proper context. My critique of his article is pretty straightforward, so it is not necessary to read, but it would be better.
I am American who works with my in-laws in Peru. We import rolling bearings into Peru (I live here in America), most of them as replacement parts for cars and commercial vehicles there. Most of our bearings come from South Korea. In May, I went to visit our two main suppliers (comments on them at my blog, May 2012).
WOW, your article comes close to making N Korea the rough equivalent of S Korea by your hagiography of George Katsiaficas and his book, and your NOT mentioning at all the absolutely brutal regime, for decades, of the Kim Dynasty in North Korea! Yes, there have been ugly characters with blood on their hands in S Korea's post WW-II history. But, the uprisings in S Korea have been tolerated and, yes, suppressed with relatively little bloodshed. ANYTHING similar in N Korea would have been bloodily crushed, and YOU know it. Shame on you.
S Korea's GDP per capita exceeds that of the UK. They have a fairly good democracy now.
They also have very advanced manufacturing (eg, Samsung and Hyundai). Their bearing plants (I visited four) were unlike anything I have ever seen, right out of Star Trek... In one of the provincial plants, I noted that it was not the traditional "one man, one machine" so often seen at other bearing plants, but "one man/woman, 20 machines". Yes, women on the (clean and safe) factory floor. They need BRAINS not brawn at Jecheon... N Korea exports weapons, fake money and drugs. I also took note of the complete freedom in S Korea, the youth there are free to be as idle or involved in "Korea Pop" as they so choose.
I understand that CounterPunch is hard left (which is great, First Amendment and all), and perhaps you have to toe a line (I visit CP fairly often, but more as an observer from the libertarian right). But, your leaving out the ALMOST INCREDIBLE achievements of the South Korean people, and yes, with the aid of the USA, is reprehensible. N Koreans flee to S Korea, while N Korea has to kidnap people from Japan's shores to gain "skills" and "instructors" they need. N Korea seeks the Nuke, counterfeits our money, regularly attacks (verbally and militarily) the South and is an active participant in the Asian drug trade. How can you discuss the Koreas, even if just reviewing a book, without mentioning the most barbaric, the WORST place on earth: North Korea? Have either you or Katsiaficas been to North Korea...? Or even seen the clandestine photos taken by tourists (Google them)?
As we say at Zero Hedge (www.zerohedge.com, you can start YOUR re-education today): minus 1
I know you have to play for your audience, but shame on you for not letting your fellow "Progressives" know of the logical extreme of Socialism. Such one-sided pieces are why the Left is in trouble here in the USA. The rest of us call this: "Selective Lying". That's the trouble with the Left, especially the Hard Left, lies are the main tool in your kit.
May you progress in your thinking and in your knowledge.
Robert A. Mix