November 29, 2005

Why are South Koreans world class rioters?

A reader responds to the great photos on the Riot Porn blog of South Korean riots and explains why South Korea is the land of Work Hard, Riot Hard:

You may want to confirm this with other Korean readers since this is purely second-hand (my mother grew up in Korea until the age of 25), but: Korea is very socially stratified. If you get into university, you are basically set for life (others go to vocational schools or come to America). So, there is no need for university students to study and many don't even go to class (this may also explain the phenomenal online gaming rate). All they do is plan and attend protests. Since there is so much social cohesion and there is so much time devoted to it, these events are meticulously planned. Of course, protesting was necessary under the military government and was seen as very successful because it led to the fall of the military junta in the 80s. So, successful college kids plus an authoritarian (but not too authoritarian) regime plus past success equals the best protestors in the world. I guess it's something like Berkeley in the 1970s, spoiled rich kids, building off of success from the past, pushing around a not-too-evil regime.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

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