Party for Socialism and Liberation Mourns Death of Kim Jong Il

While most American, western and world observers called North Korean leader Kim Jong Il a dictator and said that mourning for his death was coerced in NK, and most US Socialist parties did not comment on it at all as far as I can tell, the Party for Socialism and Liberation’s Liberation News had a different take:

Washington, with the help of the capitalist media, has consistently portrayed Kim Jong Il’s tenure as dictatorial and oppressive—even insinuating that the massive outpouring of sorrow over Kim Jong Il’s death is orchestrated and proof of a bizarre, brainwashed citizenry. This accusation is highly offensive. It is paternalistic, and ignores traditional mourning rituals deeply rooted in Korean culture.

By delegitimizing and demonizing the North Korean government, U.S. imperialism is hoping to make the idea of military intervention against North Korea palatable to the people of the United States. This is precisely the strategy used to gather popular support for the invasion of Iraq and military intervention in Libya.

This perspective is not surprising to those familiar with the history of the PSL.

Unfortunately wikipedia and politics1 are both blacked out today as part of the protest against internet censorship/SOPA, so I’ll have to add additional background on that later.

16 thoughts on “Party for Socialism and Liberation Mourns Death of Kim Jong Il

  1. paulie Post author

    The original headline may have been a Freudian slip or something akin to it – I called him King Jong Il by mistake.

  2. rloy

    Wow what a bunch of ignorant garbage. It reminds me of the Stormfront crowd saying Hitler wasn’t actually “that bad,” or the conservative nuts arguing that Pinochet, Suharto, etc. weren’t “that bad.”

    The problem: they WERE that bad. The authoritarian left that Bakunin and others debunked long ago has always been “that bad.”

  3. Gene Berkman

    The Party of Socialism & Liberation was formed out of a split in the Workers World Party, and shares many views with WWP.

    WWP was formed by a minority in the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party in 1959. SWP had condemned the 1956 Soviet intervention in Hungary, while the faction that became WWP supported the Soviet invasion.

    WWP held a perspective they called “Global Class War” and supported all the Stalinist regimes – the USSR, the People’s Democracies of East Europe, along with China, North Korea and Cuba. WWP notoriously defended the crackdown by the Chinese Red Army on the protesters at Tienanmen Square in 1989.

    The Party of Socialism & Liberation was formed after the fall of the socialist regimes in East Europe, but defends the regimes in China, North Korea and Cuba. Both WWP and PSL are particularly close the ruling party in North Korea and both parties sent condolensces to the Korean Workers Party on the death of Kim Jong Il.

  4. Nate

    I just read the full article. I don’t find any mention of the PSL mourning Kim Jong Il’s death. Nor, for that matter, them saying he wasn’t that bad. (Although they certainly don’t say that he *was* bad.)

    They seem to mainly be making two statements:

    1) If people want to mourn, just let them mourn and stay out of it.

    2) The US government wants to invade North Korea.

    I can’t really disagree with either of those statements. Seriously, just read the two paragraphs quoted above. Is there anything – other than the *way* it is written – that you disagree with?

    Just sayin’.

  5. paulie Post author

    I just read the full article. I don’t find any mention of the PSL mourning Kim Jong Il’s death. Nor, for that matter, them saying he wasn’t that bad. (Although they certainly don’t say that he *was* bad.)

    I don’t know how you possibly read it that way.

  6. Anonymous

    There is no “mourning” expressed by the PSL in the article. You can hate the analysis, but be honest in your coverage.

  7. Anonymous

    Well provide a quote then. There was no “the PSL expresses its sadness” or “the PSL mourns” or “the PSL” anything… The PSL says openly that they defend NKorea from outside aggression and key aspects of its economic system. To assert that they have some “great leader” approach is not born out by this article you linked to, which I read and is an analysis of the society and government as a whole.
    I do hope your editor corrects the title.

  8. paulie Post author

    I provided a quote. The headline is my characterization of that quote and the tone of the rest of the article. I’m standing by it.

    contact.ipr@gmail.com reaches my editor, myself, and several of the other people writing here. You are certainly welcome to make the case there in addition to the comments here.

    If anyone from the PSL would like to officially correct that they do not mourn the death of Kim, on the record, I’ll also correct it at that point myself.

  9. Brian Holtz

    The PSL article is a paean to the Kim Jong Il regime and its predecessor. The headline is fair.

    pslweb.org is so cute! We need to preserve online habitats for such endangered ideologies, before they go permanently extinct.

  10. Gene Berkman

    The significance of this is that PSL has vocally supported the Occupy Wall Street Movement, which claims America is run for the benefit of the “1%” at the expense of the 99%. Perhaps.

    North Korea is run entirely for the benefit of a single family, which clearly constitutes less than 1% of the population of the DPRK. While millions of North Koreans live on the edge of starvation, and others die, the Kim family enjoys unparrelled luxury.

    Not quite what people hope for in a “workers’ paradise.”

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