Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Two newly elected leaders of US allies who do not inspire confidence in smooth times ahead

And we think our turmoil is dizzying here in post-America.

In South Korea, at a moment of fever-pitch tensions with North Korea, which is preparing its sixth nuclear-weapon test, and which is a divided country regarding the installation of the US-supplied THAAD system for knocking out North Korean missiles (a system that is a major irritant to China), and which has just gone through the removal of a president whose main personal advisor was a flake with no official position but lots of shady business ties, a proponent of the oft-tried "sunshine policy" has been elected to replace her.

He seemed to do best with a younger demographic, while his opponent appealed to older South Koreans:

Moon won with 41.1 percent of the votes but that seemingly comfortable margin belied an ideological and generational divide in the country of 51 million people.
Data from an exit poll conducted by South Korea's top three television networks showed that, while Moon won the majority of votes cast by those under the age of 50, conservative rival Hong Joon-pyo found strong support among voters in their 60s and 70s.
The nation's young adults seem to have tasted the consumerism Kool-Aid and all that "fairness" crap with which the West is plagued, which is largely borne of a desire for a seat at the big-boy table:

 As I have noted, the danger here, and the chief cause of the country’s recent leftist surge, is more psychological than ideological. I see no evidence that most mainstream young adults admire North Korea or communism, per se. But many Koreans suffer from some degree of short man syndrome, partly due to their relatively short period of politico-economic development. Though fiercely proud of their national identity, they also feel self-conscious and even embarrassed about any perceived lack of what they identify as Western-style development. But at the moment, partly due to the universal idolization of their own Ban Ki-moon and the UN — International Relations is one of the trendiest university departments here — Western-style development largely entails advanced European progressivism.

Hence, in spite of their nation being relatively conservative or unprogressive on most economic and moral issues — or perhaps because of that — many university-age Koreans knee-jerkingly speak of welfare programs, redistribution, abortion on demand, and the like, as unambiguous ideals. In general, Koreans inclined to feel self-conscious standing before the outside world (and young people are of course most susceptible to all forms of self-consciousness) see their successful nation as backwards for all the very virtues that defined their incredible rise: low taxes, high levels of entrepreneurship, brilliant frugality (the product of long-term poverty), familial self-reliance, moral self-restraint based on a sense of public shame. They therefore foolishly seek to embrace a more “forward-looking” social model that would actually destroy their many real achievements and advances, as is already happening in most of that Europe they blindly idealize.
It will be interesting to see what Kim's next move is in light of this.

Then, speaking of Kool-Aid, newly elected French president Macron seems to like his climate-change-flavored:

On February 10, he shared a video inviting the USA’s top scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs to France.
He said: ‘I do know how your new president has decided to jeopardise your budget, your initiatives and he is extremely sceptical about climate change.
‘I have no doubt about climate change and how we have to be committed regarding this issue.’

President Macron added: ‘So I have two messages, one for the French researchers and scientists, we will reinforce our budgets, our public and private investment to do more and accelerate our initiative in order to be in line with COP21 (the Paris conference climate change accords).’
He added: ‘My second message is for you guys (Americans), please to come to France, your are welcome.
‘It is your nation, we want innovative people.
‘We want people working on climate change, energy, renewables and new technologies.’
Exit question: Do you have confidence in Squirrel-Hair's ability to deftly handle relationships with these guys?


  1. I do not know, Squirrel Hair donning a raccoon hat in France as Benjamin Franklin just does not seem like it is going to fly. You never know Mr. President of the Bubba Cap Base has been surprising.

  2. "Has been surprising" . . . that is pretty much the foremost characteristic of his time so far, I'd say.