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For more than two months there have been massive protests in the Republic of Korea (South Korea), demanding that President Park Geun-hye step down. The protests have been the largest since the the June Democratic Uprising of 1987 which forced the end of a military dictatorship. As a result of relative cultural isolation, there was not exactly enormous commentary of the events in the Anglophone press, although the events themselves were reported in a matter-of-fact sort of manner.

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The continuing interest in the influence of the daughter of a cult-leader over the president of RoK is fascinating itself as an oddball story. But that in itself is not sufficient to explain the collapse in their public support or that millions of people took the streets demanding their resignation. The cause of that - and keeping in mind that the big protests occurred after the financial revelations - was undoubtedly the massive degree of corruption and extortion between RoK's government and the chaebol, the conservative, paternalistic, corporate families. The personal shame of Park Geun-hye is that she was caught; the national shame of the Republic of Korea is that this corporate-government collusion is business as usual. The reaction from millions of ordinary Koreans who are tired and angry is understandable enough, even if is not understand by many corporate and government leaders. What is being witnessed here is the most significant transformation in the opinion of Korean people towards their governing and corporate elites in over thirty years.

Thanks to Derick Y., in Seoul, for his advice and information

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Divisive Rhetoric


"Favoring multiculturalism is something Westerners give a lot of lovely lip service to until they have to actually do it."

September 2017

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