Below we post a selection of recent letters to the WSWS.
On Japanese and Korean nationalism
I’d like to thank you for James Conachy’s July 20 article “Tensions heighten over Japan’s endorsement of nationalist textbook.”
I’m a Canadian citizen who has been living and teaching English in Seoul, Korea since 1997. I’ve been exposed to the current debate over the Japanese textbooks on a daily basis. It’s what everyone is talking about these days.
I thought Mr. Conachy did a good job of putting the current dispute in context. On the one hand, certain factions within Japan are trying to gloss over past atrocities; but on the other hand politicians within Korea are fanning the flames of nationalism for their own reactionary ends.
I think it’s important for people not familiar with contemporary Korea to realize that hatred of the Japanese is an integral part of ideology of the regime that governs South Korea. The government actively encourages hatred of the Japanese through the public school system and the media. It reminds me of “official hate” as in Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Imagine how strange it is to stand in front of a class of college age Koreans—that means they were born around 1980—and have one of them tell you, “we hate the Japanese.” They are not angry when they say this, but smile, and the entire class nods in agreement with their spokesman. It’s unnerving. It’s almost like they’re brainwashed.
It’s also disheartening for anyone who politically believes in international solidarity.
21 July 2001
On jobs destruction in the US
Thanks again for keeping the readership abreast of the stark realities of the socioeconomic events under way in this country. The expression “it ain’t over till the fat lady sings” is a long way off. Right now the fat lady is crying. She will go into hysterics when the Tinkertoy boys on Wall Street wake up and realize they have been playing musical desk chairs on the Titanic. Watch out August-October and be sure you are not on the boat. More on this later. Thanks.
21 July 2001
On the WSWS
I would just like to inform you that I enjoy your web site and that I have sent the address to some of my friends.
21 July 2001
You guys need to be covering the events more deeply. Like get with it. Where is the coverage on the dynamics with events and movements? Why is more happening in Europe than America? Wake up and be bold and, for example, get into the Democratic Party in America and its takeover at the top by corporate greed and yet there a great many local party members in the arena of the struggle for workers and change. Is it money or is it what?
22 July 2001
On the anti-globalization protests
It’s frightening stuff and I wish it were not true. The fact that “the rich get richer” and don’t care how they do it, and the huge majority that produce the wealth scratch for a living is probably inevitable in a capitalist world. Rich people rule the world to suit themselves and poor people (generally) haven’t a clue about how the world works. Worse still, if you have no money you have no influence. The 1 percent or whatever it is of super-rich know how to play the rich game and even though they are not formally linked they know how the game works and use their power with governments to achieve their common aims. Unfortunately government bosses, bank managers and media people who like to “rub shoulders” with the wealthy give them every assistance. The poor read about it in the press and think some of the wealth will filter down to them, and so they stupidly support the aims of the wealthy.
I am quite pleased to see that a lot of people are protesting against globalisation. But, I fear, that the wealthy will get their way eventually and spread their parasitic money-making enterprises to every corner of the world. If our government here in Australia is typical then they won’t have the slightest trouble breaking in to any country.
The question is: what can be done or what will be done to equalise wealth? The protestors against globalisation are doing a great job but I doubt that the wealthy would stop to hear the message. They really don’t care about poor people and as far as they are concerned they earn their money through hard work and it’s their money full stop. As it does in the human world the wheel will turn and people will come back to Christian values (Socialist values same thing), sometime in the future. For now Greed rules.
Best of luck,
23 July 2001