Sunday, February 8, 2015

FOLLOW-UP COMMENTS Fwd: The Role of Military History in the Contemporary Academy (Korea Perspective)

From a Korea Hand for all those who study north Korea (although some would argue that you could substitute almost any country - and I agree it would be true to a certain extent -  I would submit there are few countries in which every aspect of this paragraph would apply as well as it does to north Korea as everything about the regime that has come since its inception rests on the legitimacy of the regime being founded on anti-Japanese partisan warfare - which is of course a myth perpetrated by Kim Il-sung from the very beginning):

Though the study of war is demanding, both intellectually and emotionally, we cannot afford to eschew or ignore it. Examining North Korean origins of wars informs us about North Korean behavior: the way that North Korea creates notions of identity, nationality, and territoriality; the way that North Korea processes and filters information; and the way that North Korea elevates fear and aggression over reason. Analyzing the North Korean nature of war informs us about the psychology of North Koreans under stress: the patterns of communication and miscommunication within and across North Korean groups; the causes of escalation; and the dynamics of political and social behavior within North Korea and across its population. And studying the consequences of war in North Korea helps us to understand North Korean resilience, resignation, and resentment; we learn to identify unresolved issues in North Korea that may lead to further strife, and we develop a heightened ability for comprehending the North Korean elements of political behavior that can lead to sustainable resolution and the re-building of broken-indeed sometimes shattered-social, political, and economic structures and relationships.  

I would offer this from Adrian Buzo to illustrate and this provides one of the (many) keys to understanding the nature of the Kim Family Regime:

“In the course of this struggle against factional opponents, for the first time Kim began to emphasize nationalism as a means of rallying the population to the enormous sacrifices needed for post-war recovery.  This was a nationalism that first took shape in the environment of the anti-Japanese guerrilla movement and developed into a creed through the destruction of both the non-Communist nationalist forces and much of the leftist intellectual tradition of the domestic Communists.  Kim’s nationalism did not draw inspiration from Korean history, nor did it dwell on past cultural achievements, for the serious study of history and traditional culture soon effectively ceased in the DPRK.  Rather, DPRK nationalism drew inspiration from the Spartan outlook of the former Manchurian guerrillas.  It was a harsh nationalism that dwelt on past wrongs and promises of retribution for “national traitors” and their foreign backers.  DPRK nationalism stressed the “purity” of all things Korean against the “contamination” of foreign ideas, and inculcated in the population a sense of fear and animosity toward the outside world.  Above all, DPRK nationalism stressed that the guerrilla ethos was not only the supreme, but also the only legitimate basis on which to reconstitute a reunified Korea.” (p. 27) (Guerrilla Dynasty, by Adrian Buzo)


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: David Maxwell <David.Maxwell@georgetown.edu>
Date: Sun, Feb 8, 2015 at 8:12 AM
Subject: The Role of Military History in the Contemporary Academy
To:


Probably one of the most succinct and best essays that provides the rationale for why we should study military history.

Excerpt:

Though the study of war is demanding, both intellectually and emotionally, we cannot afford to eschew or ignore it. Examining the origins of wars informs us about human behavior: the way that we create notions of identity, nationality, and territoriality; the way that we process and filter information; and the way that we elevate fear and aggression over reason. Analyzing the nature of war informs us about the psychology of humans under stress: the patterns of communication and miscommunication within and across groups; the causes of escalation; and the dynamics of political and social behavior within nations and across populations. And studying the consequences of wars helps us to understand human resilience, resignation, and resentment; we learn to identify unresolved issues that may lead to further strife, and we develop a heightened ability for comprehending the elements of political behavior that can lead to sustainable resolution and the re-building of broken—indeed sometimes shattered—social, political, and economic structures and relationships.
Vol.
20
No.
4

The Role of Military History in the Contemporary Academy

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