US Man Crosses into the DPRK to Denounce US Domestic Policy and Abuses

•2014 12 14 • Leave a Comment

Arturo Pierre Martinez

The media sometimes cannot help but rip off its own mask which conceals its true purpose. Take this example: a man has recently defected from the United States to the DPRK seeking asylum. The man identified himself as Arturo Pierre Martinez, 29, a U.S. citizen raised in El Paso, Texas. Upon crossing the border from China and he participated in a press conference where he denounced US domestic policy, governmental abuse of power, the out of control for profit prison system and its inherently undemocratic nature.

“The illegal war carried out against the nation of Iraq serves as a perfect example of how the U.S. government acts much like a Mafia enterprise, but criminally plundering entire nations of their resources, strategic reserves and economies instead of smaller scale business and individuals, and does so without a code of ethics.”

He said the electoral system in the United States “is unfairly built for the benefit of the wealthy through the necessity of costly fundraising for political candidates seeking office. The democracy of this nation is an illusion and its representatives act as nothing more than power brokers for those who can offer them.”

Of the wealthy people in the United States, he said, “These billionaires in power are nothing short of sociopathic megalomaniacs on the path to absolute world domination.”

He also talked about unidentified flying objects, CIA involvement in the cocaine trade, “ultrasonic” devices that cause people to hear voices and experience bodily discomfort and how the Western news media unfairly portrayed North Korea.

Martinez admits to illegally crossing into the DPRK and has received a pardon from the government for the act which he has expressed his thanks. He wrote a 4,000 word statement where he apologized and was “extremely grateful for having been pardoned from the punishments given to violators of these laws, and for the most generous reception I have received.” It appears that the man will suffer no legal consequences from the DPRK government.

Meanwhile his family has taken to the media in response to say that he has attempted the feat once before while in South Korea where he tried to swim across the border only to be stopped by authorities. After that incident he was taken back to the US where he was given a psychiatric assessment under detention in a mental health facility. According to his mother he suffers from bipolar disorder. According to her he outsmarted authorities into releasing. Upon his release he obtained a payday loan online and boarded a flight to China where the U.S. Embassy in Beijing had been looking for him.

While speaking to the media she thanked the DPRK government for releasing her son and was glad that they were sending him home. When questioned how she knew he was being sent back she answered that she had saw it in the press conference. The US media however is claiming that “the legal status of Martinez in North Korea is unclear and it’s unknown if he’s free to leave the country,” despite the fact the DPRK has already said that he was being released to US authorities in a attempt to twist the situation into making the DPRK appear as the villain rather than recognize that they have taken his mental illness into account and are treating him accordingly.

The media reporting of this incident has been quite digesting. Many outlets are passive-aggressively attacking his mental illness in order to attack the DPRK. Many have made such comments to the effect that you would have to be crazy to go to the DPRK. However it remains beyond their honesty to admit that the DPRK has entirely different priorities and social values which align with the complaints made by Martinez of US society. In addition to this they have used his mental health status to dismiss the very real criticisms he made of US domestic policy and the very real abuses that have been carried out against its population. Each day these crimes grow causing greater and greater levels of public outrage. This is to say nothing of the recent release of CIA report on the torture of prisoners many of whom they knew were innocent.

In this situation we truly see two import things: First, the US media will use anything no matter how small or unethical to attack the DPRK. Even to the point of using a mentally ill person to do so. Second, the US media will use any measure to minimize the crimes carried out by the government on behalf of the ruling class, even if that means using a mentally ill person to do so. Third, we see who really has value for human life. As the US is using him as a means to attack the DPRK, the DPRK is treating him according to his illness and returning him home to his family.

* * *

Sources:
American who says he crossed into North Korea denounces U.S. policies, CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/13/world/asia/amercan-north-korea/

US man illegally in NKorea says he’s not detained, Yahoo News
http://news.yahoo.com/us-man-illegally-nkorea-says-not-detained-051231071.html

A Reply to Steven D’arcy and The Public Autonomy Project on Left Marginality

•2014 12 03 • Leave a Comment

anon factory

An article by Steven D’arcy for The Public Autonomy Project speaks a lot of truth regarding the dismal state of the Left in the West right now. In terms of social mobilization (especially in Canada) we’ve had a recent upsurge in the last few years despite the fact those upsurges were short lived. At this moment they “are lower now than at any time since written records have been kept.” I whole heartedly agree with this statement. The ongoing hostilities over Native oppression and the issue of the oil industry manage to retain some sense of radicalism even though it is nowhere near as mainstream as it should be. Most radical leftists are isolated to a few obscure pockets with no relevance in society whatsoever. A good example would be the RCP-Canada, who despite their “cowardly lion”[1] roaring about People’s War, don’t exist outside their University of Ottawa social club, nor do they do People’s War. The mainstream media and culture does not hear us, the radical left in anyway.

He notes quite correctly that, “the radical Left is trapped in a position of intractable marginality, lacking any plausible path to “mainstream” relevance, i.e., any capacity to secure a meaningful role in shaping the ideas of large numbers of people or wielding any substantive influence.” This is very true. In Canada particular the Left is inundated with copious amounts of liberalism, anit-radical sentiments that create a kind of self-sedating mentality or culture. In short, we as Canadians, as Westerners, are not radical in any significant way. The reason why is expressed well by D’arcy even if he fails to understand the fullness of his own words.

In this sense, there has been a deep and broad collapse of what Marx called popular “self-activity” (“Selbsttätigkeit”) — a terrifying lack of self-organized struggles of broad masses of people for social and environmental justice. We lack, therefore, the expansive pool of social antagonisms and conflicts upon which the Left could in former decades rely for infusions of enthusiasm, critical insights about the nature of the systems we oppose and how to defeat them, and what Rosa Luxemburg called “the forward-storming combative energy” of broad popular movements.

D’arcy theorizes why we’re in this situation. Essentially he’s saying we don’t suffer from the overwhelming social antagonisms that we once suffered from. This statement is true; we’ve replaced real social problems with complaints about reactionary statements made by celebrities. We’ve forgotten about systemic racism, sexism and homophobia. Instead we focus on one clown of the ruling class, the ‘Rob Ford’ character who is merely a manifestation of, not the source of these oppressions. Even the radical Left has taken to attacking Ford, a representative, a human face of the Canadian capitalist class itself. This is anti-radical in itself; it is “’Left’ in form but Right in essence” as Mao Tse-tung would say during the Bombard the Headquarters campaign. It appears to be Left because it attacks real reactionary social phenomenon, but it is Right because it shifts focus away from the actual source of the reactionary social phenomenon. It is, in a way, self-sabotage brought about by a lack of radicalization that leads to no longer putting “politics in command”. The material conditions we face in Canada, in general (with exceptions) are not a radical environment, because we are not facing radical antagonisms.

The actual radical action (as opposed to school club bluster) comes from the First Nation’s people who face a very real mortal threat to their way of life, and physical lives themselves. The ongoing capitalist drive of producing oil is eventually going to kill the Native’s lands and end their lives through all manner of industrial poisons. They take the radical action to the enemy and risk their freedom and sometimes lives to try and change things. Do they have the best tactics? No. But they have an actual radicalized spirit for liberation from oppression, because they actually suffer oppression.

First World people do not live in antagonisms that threaten to produce a qualitative change out of the current quantitative events. The current “turnover rate” of quantitative events is exceedingly minimal. He says that we the radical left do not recognise the opportunities that arise for us; right now we are looking for new viability. In a moment of clarity he sees that:

So our eyes have to be fixed on any signs of broad-based popular mobilization, especially when it reaches beyond the ranks of radical “scenes” and “subcultures,” whether these be anarchists punks, marxist grad students, or loose networks of ‘social justice’ advocates on twitter or tumblr. That, however, is the scary part of all this. This idea that the Left has to wait for something (1) that doesn’t now exist, (2) that the Left can’t create by its own efforts, and (3) that seems only likely to emerge from struggles of a sort that happen less and less often, and seemingly on an ever smaller scale. It’s terrifying, of course. But it’s the only reality we have, and we have to begin by acknowledging it.

Once having said this he states that the “actually existing radical-activist Left” responds to this situation by digging in its heels proclaiming that they have all the answers. In other words they resort to dogmatism. They repeat already known slogans and analyses and tactics that have already proven not to work in better times, yet they expect it to in bad times such as these. They think they would work “if only people would listen.”:

D’arcy instead of truly understanding he resorts to revolutionary optimism. He says, “When large-scale, sustained, and broad-based popular mobilization returns — as surely it must… [the] Left will be swept away and replaced in the same way that those of the 1950s Left were swept away and replaced in the 1960s.” He believes that the correct time will simply reappear and fix us so that we’ll be properly radical once again. This idea is false, he has already stated the correct one:

“The struggles on which alone the Left can base its regeneration will not come from the radical Left itself. But the Left itself has to cultivate a capacity to recognize them when they do appear.”

The reason he/we do not recognize it is because it does not occur in our own backyard. Our current radical leftist analysis prevents us from seeing the reality of the world around us. The conditions for radical Leftist action are elsewhere. They are not here in Canada, the United States or the United Kingdom. They exist in the Third World. The current leftist analysis is to look around our own society and look for those antagonisms that perpetuate the conditions for revolution. Via his own words he has already admitted they are not here. “We lack, therefore, the expansive pool of social antagonisms and conflicts upon which the Left could in former decades rely for infusions of enthusiasm, critical insights about the nature of the systems we oppose and how to defeat them…”

People in the First World (with few minor exceptions) do not suffer from the global capitalist order. They in fact benefit from it. We are bought off by the luxurious First World life with the value stolen by imperialism from the Third World. We afford countless frivolous consumer commodities due to that super-exploitation; we have wages inflated far above our actual contribution to the creation of value. We are net appropriators of value which place us in a superior (and antagonistic) class position above the Third World. Our lack of sufficient social contradictions is the product of our environment, our class position. We are afforded all the luxuries to distract us and allow us not to care about those who really do suffer. (Information regarding the transfer of value from Third to First World is available, it’s not necessary to repeat here.)

Think about our First World mentality: Why is that First World people only protest and complain about imperialist endeavours while the Third World physically fights it? Because they have to, they are being killed we are not. Marx said “the workers have nothing to lose but their chains.” Those being bombed by imperialism, those slaughtered at the hands of the US backed Free Syrian Army don’t have anything to lose. We in the First World have everything to lose, all of our privilege, all of our plunder, all of our comfort. That is why we are not radical, that is why we do not fight. The Third World has to strike back at us; our inaction does them no good. If we fail to stop our own countries the Third World will have to defend itself. That desperation will be grasped by many groups, not necessarily good ones. 9/11 and ISIS are prime examples of that. Radical Islam has taken the place of the radical Leftism that existed in these places before imperialism wiped them out.

D’arcy is right, “the Left itself has to cultivate a capacity to recognize them when they do appear.” They have appeared right before our eyes, just not physically in front of them. The inability to see the source of the lack of social antagonisms, the source of First World privilege and its corresponding global imperialist structure, blinds us from seeing that first world people are no longer the proletariat. First World people are no longer proletariat because first world people are not marginalized. The primary contradiction is acknowledged by Lenin and Mao as imperialism, a contradiction that we benefit from. Both Engels and Lenin saw the First World’s privilege.[2][3][4] The oppressed masses of the third world are the proletariat now; they are the globally oppressed class. We have so much more to lose than our chains.

All power to the Third World, all effort to Third World struggles. Long live Marxism-Leninism-Maoism-Third Worldism

* * *
Sources:

The Intractable Marginality of the Activist Left, The Public Autonomy Project
http://publicautonomy.org/2014/10/28/intractable-marginality/

[1] Revisionism of the Cowardly Lion in the First World, Leading Light Communist Organization
http://llco.org/revisionism-of-the-cowardly-lion-in-the-first-world/

[2] “The English proletariat is becoming more and more bourgeois, so that this most bourgeois of all nations is apparently aiming ultimately at the possession of a bourgeois aristocracy, and a bourgeois proletariat as well as a bourgeoisie. For a nation which exploits the whole world, this is, of course, to a certain extent justifiable.”
V. I. Lenin, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism (Peking: Foreign Language Press, 1973), p. 128-9.

[3] “The export of capital, one of the most essential economic bases of imperialism, still more completely isolates the rentiers from production and sets the seal of parasitism on the whole country that lives by exploiting the labour of several overseas countries and colonies.”
V. I. Lenin, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism (Peking: Foreign Language Press, 1973), p. 120.

[4] “The petty-bourgeois democrats in the capitalist countries, whose foremost sections are represented by the second and Two-and-a-Half Internationals, serve today as the mainstay of capitalism, since they retain an influence over the majority, or a considerable section, of the industrial and commercial workers and office employees who are afraid that if revolution breaks out they will lose the relative petty-bourgeois prosperity created by the privileges of imperialism.”
V. I. Lenin, “Third Congress of the Communist International, June 22-July 12, 1921,” Vol. 32, Collected Works (Moscow, Progress Publishers, 1965), p. 454.

Thai Farmer Substance Abuse Shows Global Drug Difference

•2014 12 02 • Leave a Comment

A problem has appeared among Thailand’s rubber farmers who already face some of the harshest living conditions in the world. Poverty among them creates a high mortality rate and a very low standard of living. A new trend has been emerging of desperate farmers using methamphetamines to keep up working. Exhausted by these long hours, workers in north-eastern Thailand are turning to ‘yaba’ (or ‘crazy medicine’) methamphetamine to stay awake. Rubber farming usually requires overnight work of tapping into rubber trees to drain the latex inside before it hardens from the sun during the day.

Rubber prices have been falling for some time now causing many farmers to seek secondary employment to supplement their income. Many have day jobs in construction or other sectors. Other farmers grow a second crop like corn during the day which requires them to work incredibly long hours. Recently the government of Thailand has faced protests as rubber farmers began demanding action to protect the falling rubber price. Currently there is discussion about drafting legislation to force the government to purchase the rubber at a price inflated higher than the current market. Last year the government put forward $1.8 billion worth of measures suggested by The National Rubber Policy Committee to help farmers cope with the falling price. During that same time period the price of rubber fell more than 30% to a five-year low as global stocks of rubber outpaced production.

In these desperate times of having to work another job, or double crop farming, more and more farmers are turning to methamphetamines to keep up with the physical labour demand. The health cost has been significant. An Al-Jazeera article states that, “Last year, 60 percent of the drug treatment patients in Wang Saphung Hospital were rubber farmers, and nearly all were addicted to meth.” The problem is the worst in the north-east where the country faces the most poverty.

“In turn, this region has seen a 700 percent increase in the number of people arrested for meth since 2008, according to data from the Narcotics Suppression Bureau. Last year, authorities counted more than 33,000 meth-related arrests in the northeast. The rapid rise here fits into a larger surge across Asia, which now accounts for more than 50 percent of amphetamine-type stimulants’ global users.

“Under the new military government, Thailand’s anti-drug policies have only intensified. In July, the Ministry of Justice revealed a $300m initiative to track down the country’s estimated 1.2 million drug addicts for mandatory treatment.”

This problem of meth abuse among farmers in Asia has been increasing over the last few years as global consumption and production patterns shift and place strain on the market and its producers. There has been a tremendous rubber boom in Thailand; the acreage of mature rubber tree plantations have tripled in the past three years as the government has been pushing it as the cash crop of the country.

One of the prime differences between the First and the Third world makes itself manifest in the kinds of chemicals the working classes consume. Drug addiction in the Third World is largely connected to extending the labour ability of the proletariat. These drugs are taken either to remain awake to work longer hours, or to dull pain in order to work harder. In a secondary sense there is a fair amount of it to dull the psychological stress of being poor. In the First World people have access to abundant recreational drugs, chemicals designed for the “enjoyment” of life. These come as LSD, Molly, Psychedelic Mushrooms, Opium, Barbiturates / Benzodiazepines, cocaine and Cannabis. Drug use in the First World is mainly for relaxation and fun.

In this global divide of wealth from imperialism and the corresponding transfer of value, we see clearly the difference in living standards. As First World People receive much more of the social product than their labour contributes, they have the disposable income to spend on a luxury such as recreational drugs. Meanwhile in the barbaric poverty of the Third World, what little amount of social product those workers receive is cut into by the need purchase drugs to keep working, not relaxation. The global consumption pattern of drugs speaks to its accompanying global wealth divide. As First World people consume for enjoyment, these Third World workers consume to survive.

That same imperialist structure that forces this class divide of drug use also allocates the rubber product. The rubber they produce goes into some of the most frivolous of luxury commodities for First World people such as sex toys and overpriced name brand shoes. Meanwhile the Third world people suffer from a lack of it to fulfill their own social needs like healthcare and proper work attire. It is only through a radical reorganization of production according to need, not profits that will solve the unjust use of rubber and solve the problems of drug use.

* * *

Sources:

Drug addiction grows on Thai rubber farms, Al-Jazeera
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/11/drug-addiction-grows-thai-rubber-farms-2014113074454777879.html

Thai government delays draft rubber law amid farmers’ discontent, Reuters
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/27/us-thailand-rubber-idUSKCN0JB13U20141127

Thai rubber farmers threaten to intensify protest as government rejects demands, Reuters
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/29/us-thailand-rubber-protest-idUSBRE99S0BF20131029

Thailand Plans Aid to Rubber Farmers as Prices Fall, Wall Street Journal Online
http://online.wsj.com/articles/thailand-plans-aid-to-rubber-farmers-as-prices-fall-1413469656

For more info on the working day see:
Karl Marx. Capital Volume One, Chapter Ten: The Working-Day
https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch10.htm

Diminishing Returns Aren’t Waste, but Irrational Bourgeois Economics

•2014 11 28 • Leave a Comment

I’ve always found it entertaining to see the contrast, or just small differences, between particular economic views. As I’m sure some of you are aware I follow Paul Krugman’s blog on the New York Times website. Once in a while I come across some interesting posts where I can clearly see a contrast between his new-Keynesianism and my Marxism. Obviously this is one of those times or I wouldn’t be writing this.

The subject of this one is incremental capital output ratio, but more specifically whether or not diminishing returns constitutes a waste of capital investment. A new paper put out by China’s National Development and Reform Commission and the Academy of Macroeconomic Research, suggests that China is wastefully spending capital due to this very diminishing return. Krugman argues that it is not waste, but merely a diminishing return. This diminishing return is also a good thing according to growth economics.

The problem arises with a $6.8 trillion supposed “ineffective investment”. The argument stands that since there is a decreasing rate of return on capital invested, this constitutes waste. Krugamn claims what appears is actually an engagement in capital deepening as opposed to waste. Here for the sake of brevity I’ll give Krugman’s explanation.

Think about a standard production function (Figure 1), and imagine that the Chinese economy is moving up and to the right on that curve, from A to B to C, as it accumulates capital

Figure 1

In that case the economy does face diminishing returns, but that’s what is supposed to happen.

What the “$6.8 trillion in waste” paper does, however, is in effect to insist that the accumulation of capital in moving from B to C should yield the same increase in output per unit of capital as the accumulation from A to B. Graphically (Figure 2), it’s drawing a line from A to B and extrapolating it, then claiming that any shortfall from that extrapolation represents waste:

Figure 2

Krugman says that this is not waste but a diminishing return which is supposed to happen. To a point yes I’d agree with what he says. Under bourgeois economics, particularly Keynesianism, this is not waste but the inevitable result of investment. To a Marxist this would be waste. In our particular view this represents a terrible inefficiency caused by the contradiction of the production of commodities for their exchange-value and opposed to their use-value. In a socialist (and communist) society this would be directly invested according to fulfilling a need, rather than a projected return on fulfilling a want. The problem lies in commodity production for what you can gain in surplus-value (profits) which cannot be known until it is realized in the marketplace. Direct production for need is much more efficient in this regard as it produces value directly for the need it fills. Only capitalism could take inefficiency and call it beneficial, because of course it justifies exploitation and profit making. Instead they see it as, “wasteful spending is better than no spending,” to use Krugman’s own words.

* * *

Sources:

Diminishing Returns Aren’t Waste (Wonkish), NYT Paul Krugman Blog
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/11/28/diminishing-returns-arent-waste-wonkish/

The Chinese Economy Is Facing A $6.8 Trillion Nightmare That Could Get Worse, Business Insider
http://www.businessinsider.com/china-economy-waste-malinvestment-slowdown-2014-11

China has ‘wasted’ $6.8tn in investment, warn Beijing researchers, Financial Times
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/002a1978-7629-11e4-9761-00144feabdc0.html

Exposing WHO Lies on the DPRK Suicide Rate

•2014 11 22 • Leave a Comment

00 preventing suicide

Recently I produced a video displaying a website that impersonates the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA the North Korean state media) where I predicted the site was going to be used to spread false information about the DPRK. I was correct, one of the first pieces of hollow propaganda is a link to a piece that makes the claim “North Korea’s suicide rate among worst in world, says WHO report.” Being such a rather extreme claim I certainly had to investigate it. I am also aware that the DPRK doesn’t publish such statistics, so it was interesting to find out where they would get such information from.

Clicking the on the link of the false KCNA website takes you to an article by The Guardian. There it repeats the claim in less dramatic wording:

“South Korea’s problem with suicide has been well documented. But a World Health Organisation report has found that the problem is even worse in its northerly neighbour, making the peninsula one of the most suicidal regions in the world.

“The report, entitled Preventing Suicide: A Global Imperative, estimates that in 2012, 9,790 suicides took place in North Korea, with roughly equal numbers of males and females killing themselves. The report acknowledged that acquiring data was difficult, and that it had arrived at its North Korean estimate by factoring in a range of statistically predictive factors.

“Analysts say North Koreans may be driven to suicide by poverty, and the psychological stress of living in a restrictive environment. “I heard economic hardship was the main reason, but really, for anyone who is gay or lesbian or has mental health issues, life in North Korea is really tough,” said Sandra Fahy, assistant professor at Sophia University in Tokyo and author of the forthcoming monogrpah Marching Through Suffering: Loss, Survival and North Korea.”

Obviously the first thing I did was check this study they cite. Preventing Suicide: A Global Imperative. This is what it claims for the suicide rate in the DPRK:

Fake DPRK Suicide Stats

These statistics show a grim picture that would suggest all kinds of nasty assumptions about life in the DPRK. However upon closer investigation we can clearly see the number 4 in brackets in the column marked with two asterisks which tells us there’s more information.

Fake DPRK Stats 2

At the bottom of the chart in the two asterisks section there is a fourth point which reads “No vital registration.” Vital registration is essentially a “vital record” which is the record that the government keeps of the life events of persons. These typically include birth certificates, marriage licenses, and death certificates. In some jurisdictions, vital records may also include records of civil unions or domestic partnerships. What the chart is saying is that it has no official sources of information regarding the suicide rate of DPRK citizens. Since this is so, where are they getting this information from? The answer is nowhere; there is no other mention of the DPRK in the document. This document has not other information pertaining to the DPRK. The suicide rate appears to have come from nowhere.

Back in the first paragraph of The Guardian quote it has a link to another article on global suicides which also makes reference to the DPRK. Going to that article, titled “Suicide kills one person worldwide every 40 seconds, WHO report finds”, its source for information on DPRK suicides links the same study I just went over. So thus far it appears as though there is no information for these supposed suicide rates at all.

Now you may have noticed that there is another column on the chart “Age-standardized suicide rates *** (per 100 000), 2012”. That column has three asterisks which lead to the words, “Standardized to the WHO World Standard Population”. In both articles there is mention of a 2012 world suicide report that is supposed to give the numbers for the DPRK. Of course neither article actually links to said report. The main source for these numbers and other information lead to a 2012 report on suicides globally by the WHO. The page does contain a graphic displaying suicide rates globally which does include the DPRK. You’ll note that they’ve listed the DPRK and the Republic of Korea in the same category.

Fake DPRK Stats 3

This chart is part of a section of the page titled, “WHO Global Health Estimates”. The section says, “The WHO Global Health Estimates provide a comprehensive and comparable assessment of mortality (including suicide) and loss of health due to diseases and injuries for all regions of the world. The latest WHO assessment of deaths by cause is for the years 2000–2012.” In addition it also links to a study called, “WHO methods and data sources for country-level causes of death 2000‐2012.” It also goes by the technical title, “Global Health Estimates Technical Paper WHO/HIS/HSI/GHE/2014.7”.

In this report it classifies the DPRK as a “D”, which means its data is collected from a document titled “UNPD’s World Population Prospects – the 2012 revision”. This document has nothing to do with suicides. It talks about life expectancies, fertility rates, and population numbers. I have scoured everything these papers link to and I cannot find anything that gives any source for information. There seems to be no source for this information available at all.

All of this nonexistent information regarding suicide rates is completely contradicted by a January 2013 report by the Unification Medical Ministry (UMM) at Seoul National University which says that suicides in the DPRK are rare. This study noticed the same thing that I did, that there was no source for the WHO claim which they heavily criticized.

“In the case of the DPRK, no such data was identified and the statistical estimates for suicide deaths by cause were based on regression models that predicted the levels of suicide based on data from surrounding countries (such as China, Republic of Korea and other Asian countries) adjusted according to levels of statistically predictive factors such as alcohol consumption, population density, average income per capita, average education levels, religion, etc.”

‘…the estimates based on what is expected in neighboring countries with totally different political, social, financial and value systems would be less than reliable and the quality of these stats will be highly variable’

Along with this there has been a longstanding anti-DPRK propaganda line that says anyone who commits suicide has their family killed, or jailed depending on which “defector” story is offered. There have been all kinds of unproven stories about fantastic and wild punishments for committing suicide. However one semi-legit source says that suicides seem on par with other countries.

“Felix Abt was managing director for the PyongSu Joint Venture Company, the first foreign-invested joint venture in the pharmaceutical field in the DPRK, from late 2005 to February 2009. Abt told NK News that while in the North he had enquired about mental illnesses associated with suicide, such as depression or anxiety.

““Although doctors saw patients with such symptoms or with a suicidal behavior the percentage did not seem higher in comparison to estimates I had from other developing countries,” he said.”

With all this having been said, there is absolutely no information showing that the DPRK has a high suicide rate. This study by the WHO, with regards to the DPRK is wholly without credibility. The truth on what the suicide rate is in the DPRK is unknown as the country does not publicly publish such information. As usual the bourgeois media accepted this baseless claim by the WHO without question showing what little credibility and honesty they have. Again we are left with nothing but the most insulting of imperialist claims that serve not the truth, but to forward the interests of imperialism in justifying the inhuman sanctions and military threats.

* * *

Sources:

Fake KCNA Website
http://www.kcna.co/

North Korea’s suicide rate among worst in world, says WHO report, The Guardian
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/04/north-korea-suicide-rate-among-worst-world-who-report

Preventing suicide: A global imperative, WHO
http://www.who.int/mental_health/suicide-prevention/world_report_2014/en/

Suicide kills one person worldwide every 40 seconds, WHO report finds, The guardian
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/sep/04/suicide-kills-every-40-seconds-who

WHO Mental Health, Suicide Data
http://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/suicide/suicideprevent/en/

WHO Suicide Date Chart 2012
http://gamapserver.who.int/mapLibrary/Files/Maps/Global_AS_suicide_rates_bothsexes_2012.png?ua=1

Health statistics and information systems,Completeness and coverage of death registration data, WHO
http://www.who.int/healthinfo/statistics/mortcoverage/en/

WHO methods and data sources for global causes of death 2000−2012. Global Health Estimates Technical Paper
WHO/HIS/HSI/GHE/2014.7. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2014.
http://www.who.int/healthinfo/statistics/GlobalCOD_method.pdf

World Population Prospects The 2012 Revision, UN Department of Economic
and Social Affairs Population Division

http://esa.un.org/wpp/documentation/pdf/WPP2012_%20KEY%20FINDINGS.pdf

Why North Korea has the lowest suicide rate in the world, Hanguk Story
http://hangukstory.blogspot.ca/2011/05/why-north-korea-has-lowest-suicide-rate.html

Suicide is not an option in N. Korea: report, Yonhap
http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/search1/2603000000.html?cid=AEN20130110004200315

Suicide is not an option in N. Korea: report, Yonhap
http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/northkorea/2013/01/10/46/0401000000AEN20130110004200315F.HTML

Experts criticize WHO’s North Korea suicide stats, NKNews.org
http://www.nknews.org/2014/10/experts-criticize-whos-north-korea-suicide-stats/

Poetry of a Foxconn Suicide Victim

•2014 11 14 • Leave a Comment

Xu Lizhi threw himself from a Foxconn workers’ dormitory building in Shenzhen on 30 September. He was 24 years old, a migrant worker and a poet: neither line of work looks promising in China at the moment.

Here is some of that poetry he wrote before he committed suicide:

    We ran along the railway,
    arriving in some place called ‘the City’
    where we trade in our youth, and our muscle.
    Finally we have nothing to trade, only a cough
    and a skeleton nobody cares about.
    ‘Sleepless’
    Midnight. Everyone is sleeping soundly,
    We keep our pair of young wounds open.
    These black eyes, can you really lead us to the light?
    ‘Night Shift’

His bitterness is clear in a poem penned in December 2013:

    I swallowed a moon made of iron
    They refer to it as a nail
    I swallowed this industrial sewage, these unemployment documents
    Youth stooped at machines die before their time
    I swallowed the hustle and the destitution
    Swallowed pedestrian bridges, life covered in rust
    I can’t swallow any more
    All that I’ve swallowed is now gushing out of my throat
    Unfurling on the land of my ancestors
    Into a disgraceful poem.

Re: Did Jason Unruhe Refute my Video?

•2014 11 07 • Leave a Comment

In my last blog post I laid out a refutation Josh Cardosi’s response to the women who walked for 10 hours in New York and catalogued the amount of times she was sexually harassed by men on the street. Since the post was made public Cardosi has offered a response that can be found here. Be warned it is an unnecessary 27 minutes long.

In my first post I systematically in point form laid out all of his claims and proceeded to prove each of them wrong. This largely stemmed from his seeming inexperience with sexual harassment. He dismisses what she suffers as insignificant and should therefore not be counted as harassment. In other instances he feels they are “not that bad”, which is a way of admitting it happened but is still negated being made meaningless. Thus we see his original intention was to claim that the video was wrong and that she was complaining over nothing. On top of this he compares statistics on suicide what has nothing to do with the content of the video. It is clear he set out to deny the video’s claims and then attempt to turn the tables and claim women are privileged by an ability to receive affection on command. Essentially his statement is to claim the harassment is nothing and doesn’t matter, then paint men as victims and falsely paint women as privileged while ignoring that the men were suffering from a man enforced system.

His response to my response was to say that he wasn’t trying to disprove anything and instead was “just trying to get people thinking”. His words now completely contradict his previous ones. His entire video was laid out as an attempt to minimize and dismiss everything that was presented in the recorded walk. There was no attempt to get people thinking. A presentation of evidence of both sides and balanced approach taking the woman’s presentation honestly would be “trying to get people to think”. His goal here is to avoid the criticism of his faulty arguments by claiming he never really made them when he certainly did.

In an astounding moment he claims that MRAs are not sexist. This alone says enough.

In a most clear way he is back peddling. My points about his argument remain.

On top of all of this I’d like add a real criticism of the “10 Hours of Walking in New York”. It has been reported that the footage has been edited to remove instances where White men harassed her. The creator admits to doing this. This act is clearly racist. In addition there is a claim of classism given the places where she walked, but I know little about that so I won’t bother commenting on it. These are real criticisms that could have been made but were not.

Cardosi’s reply contains nothing but rambling, going back and forth between points, and a general dodging of points. I find the thumbnail rather humorous as there is no vs., he was no opponent as he didn’t actuallt reply with anything.

* * *

Sources:

My first post: A Refutation of Josh Cardosi’s “10 Hours of Walking in NYC – Response”
http://maoistrebelnews.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/a-refutation-of-josh-cardosis-10-hours-of-walking-in-nyc-response/

The Problem With That Catcalling Video, Slate
http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/10/29/catcalling_video_hollaback_s_look_at_street_harassment_in_nyc_edited_out.html

 
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