Thursday, 4 February 2010
North and South continued
If the divide between the two Koreas persist, and North Korea remains a closed country for many more years, will it become a new nation, with a new set of core values?
I assume one can only speculate about that. There has hardly been such situation on the global map before 20th century, as before that political powers fought one with another with it's borders quite open for average citizens. Any sort of fiercely guarded border is quite new invention, as well as communism and the Iron Courtain.
Nevertheless North Koreans are quite different by now in their mental attitude. They live a life of zoo animals who are fed, whose life is organized and who don't have to think much and don't really have to fight in life. Don't have to build up their careers, don't have to think about their career and future in the age of 7.
There is a risk that if that regime lasts sufficiently long, this may get so deep inside their mentality that even if it collapses they will not be really able to manage their lives. Such mental construct is called Homo Sovieticus.
The very same phenomenon explains why Russia struggles with autocratic power shift with quite passive social attitude.
In parallel South Korea faces crucial cultural changes these years. Since 2007 a lot has changed in the way people dress, bahave or in their values. The breakthrough generation slowly takes over. This generation is less and less obedient and collectivist. It will still take another 50 years or so, but it happens on our eyes - South Korea is changing into the modern democratic capitalist state. The self responsibility for one's life will grow. Growing freedom imposes greater self reliance and responsibility of a person. Even now average South Korean citizen is used to minimal state aid and has to manage his own life independently.
The pace of time will add it's influence and the feeling of "oneness" will vanish. I guess there will be two separate Korean nations.
Fresh news say that North Korea faces wave of food shortages again. Growing number of citizens escape abroad.
The only way for the regime to collapse is the same attitude of USA which made USSR collapse. Constant economic aid for regime is not doing to it's citizens any better, it will very likely compromize their minds. Just as it happens in other totalitarian states which entered global economy - if you obey then you're rich. If you don't obey, then you stay poor. I guess that will be the entirely new category of people.