Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Park Geunhye launches presidential bid

Political analysts say Park Geunhye still needs
to work on her presidential Nazi salute.

Ah, Korea, where even those on the right are in the left:
The conservatives are in an unlikely race to claim "economic democracy" as the centerpiece of their campaign platform, trying to woo the less ideological and fiscally pragmatic urban voters who will be eyeing the candidates' visions for social equity.

Park pledged to bring greater fairness to the business environment and said that while she will continue to eliminate pointless regulations, big corporations will be called upon to do more for the greater social good.

"I will create a government that decisively implements the law so that corporations that have big influence can do all they can to meet their social responsibility," Park said.
I just hope a President Park doesn't follow in her predecessor's footsteps and try to sell off the other airports, Namsan Park, the Han River, etc., etc.



  1. The usual labels don't apply in South Korea - whether they still still work anywhere is a philosophical and historical debate- which I would classify as solidly corporatist. I don't understand your quip,"even those on the right are in the left". perhaps she said something else not reported by Reuters, but she's focused fully on corporations, not citizens or even other institutions in the country. If the leftists came out for union reform, the regulatory capture would be glaring. The left is about extending individual liberty, and the right supports traditional institutions. What the labels have come in Korea or the world is another debate, but Korea will never be on any side of the left-right continuum as long as it favors institutions over individuals.

    1. I agree that the usual labels don't apply in Korea (or rather, they don't apply in America, where "neoconservatives" are actually neoliberals elsewhere). And I agree that it is corporatist.

      But there are more ways than just individual liberty versus traditional institutions to mark a left-right divide, and my glib comment was referring to the idea of the state acting to secure and insure social welfare versus (left) the individualist way of leaving it up to oneself in the marketplace (right).

      On that score, owing largely to a need to compete with North Korea's promise of across-the-board social welfare back in the 1960s, even the Korean right has seen the state as the means, provider, or referee of social welfare (even if it is lacking in many areas). Sure, the emphasis on national health care, massive public infrastructure projects, and the housing movement all dabble in corporatism, but the right in the US would never suggest these things are the purview of the government.


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