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Geography Archives: Korea

South Korea: The State of Political Struggle

The post-crisis trajectory of the South Korean economy has been a disaster for working people there, and South Korean labor and left movements are engaged in a very difficult struggle to roll back the ongoing neoliberal restructuring.  In this essay I discuss some of the challenges these movements face.  I do so because workers and […]

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South Korea: The Unraveling of an Economy

South Korea, the poster country for the IMF in the post-East Asian crisis period, is in serious economic trouble.  That’s probably why you hear so little about what is happening there.  After a major economic collapse in 1998, the country recorded GDP growth rates of 10.9 percent and 9.3 percent in 1999 and 2000, respectively.  […]

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Unit 731

Japan’s Modern Historical Loop

The news of world affairs these days is highly unlikely to delight the Japanese survivors of the two nuclear terrorist attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States’ armed forces sixty years ago. Those attacks were not meant to convince the Japanese leaders to surrender, something which they were about to do anyway, but […]

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JPS Performance, Relative to NouGyoKyo and Banks

Koizumi Goes Postal

On Monday, August 8th, Japan’s upper house of Parliament unexpectedly joined the French and Dutch electorates to give a sharp slap to neoliberal inevitability. Much to the totally delicious distress of all the usual suspects, from the Financial Times to the Christian Science Monitor, the parliamentarians turned down Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s key piece of […]

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Thinking About China

Imports into the U.S. keep rising and the merchandise trade deficit keeps growing. Manufacturing jobs continue to disappear and wages and working conditions continue to worsen.  Increasingly, those who seek to explain these trends point to China.  It is true that China has become an export powerhouse, and the United States its main market.  China […]

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In the Reactionary Era of “No Alternative”  

For years, U.S. political and economic leaders saw themselves in mortal combat with communist nations for the allegiance of peoples at home and abroad. The pressure of being in competition with an alternative economic system set limits on how thoroughly Western leaders dared to mistreat their own working populations. Indeed, during the Cold War, pains […]

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Taking Games Seriously

Why should self-identified progressives and activists care about videogames? After all, don’t we have more important things to do — like stopping the Terror War, organizing unions, and constructing Left parties? Aren’t videogames just a frivolous luxury of First World consumers? Not so. Adorno noted long ago that the line between progress and regress becomes […]

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“Pas de vacances pour les bourgeois!”

“Pas de vacances pour les bourgeois!” (no vacation for the bourgeois) was a favorite slogan at the Sorbonne during the May 1968 nationwide revolt in France. Not supported by any established political parties (including the CPF), the movement which originally started among students who took over the universities came to include workers who occupied factories […]

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