Korean radical poli-econ

Patrick Bond pbond at SPAMwn.apc.org
Sat Sep 25 06:04:05 MDT 1999

Are there comrades on these lists from South Korea, or
involved in solidarity work? I'm making my first trip
there next week, and am curious about political-intellectual
traditions behind -- and practical implications of -- the
following excellent excerpts from movement leaders there:

     The intensification of the fantastic and
     imperialistic neoliberal offensive and the economic
     crisis is the dual expression of one entity: the
     overaccumulation (overproduction) of capital since
     the 1970s. The global economy is characterised by
     overproduction and a decline in the rate of profit.
     Efforts of capital are concentrated on increasing
     the rate of profit, leading to greater
     monopolisation. And the global monopolies and their
     metropoles are intent on driving out state
     intervention in the process of reproduction. This is
     what is undertaken under the name of "deregulation."
          Furthermore, the decline in the rate of profit
     due to overproduction has meant that capital can no
     longer find sufficiently profitable areas for
     investment in production or distribution. This has
     forced capital to turn to speculation. The birth of
     mammoth speculative capital, fostered by the changes
     in global financial practices, has transformed the
     system into a "casino capitalism."
                                                                 Koh Young-joo
     General Secretary, Korean Confederation of Trade Unions
                                                                      March 1999

     The ship of Korean economy was wrecked in the high
     sea of capital globalization. We have tried to
     repair the ship prior to anything else, only to
     realize that it is hardly enough to rectify the
     problematic situation. The high sea exonerating no
     ship to remain safe, we cannot help but think of
     having such safety systems as a typhoon-alarming
     equipment or pirate-defensive armaments ready for
     any upcoming disaster. It is a time, in other words,
     to direct our attention not only to the
     restructuring of domestic economy but to that of the
     world financial system.
          In the rapid currents of globalization, which
     effectively erase the traditional demarcation
     between the inside and the outside, a fire beyond
     the river turns itself quickly enough into a fire on
     our own houses. The credibility game of borderless
     capital drastically narrowing down policy choices of
     national governments, the potential power of the
     world citizens is the only hope left for the
     renovation of the current, deeply destabilizing,
     world financial order. Now is a time, therefore, for
     the citizens of the world to put the question of the
     world economic justice on the agenda of global civic
     movement. It is not only a mandate of our own age
     but also an important focus of global civic society.
                                                            Kim Young-ho
                  Chairperson, Taegu Round Korea Committee
                                                          September 1999

Patrick Bond
(Wits University Graduate School of Public and Development Management)
home: 51 Somerset Road, Kensington 2094, Johannesburg
office: 22 Gordon Building, Wits University Parktown Campus
mailing address: PO Box 601 WITS 2050
phones:  (h) (2711) 614-8088; (o) 488-5917; fax 484-2729
emails:  (h) pbond at wn.apc.org; (o) bondp at zeus.mgmt.wits.ac.za

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