20060709

"If Democracy cannot provide for the. . . people, people will say 'To Hell with Democracy, we need strong men."

There is a line; a line between good and evil. If a so called good person crosses it, they are then regarded as evil.

Interestingly, this doesn't work in reverse. A so called evil person cannot suddenly become good because they do one good thing.

However, the fact that the line is even there is more the problem than anything else.

I will now point to Park Chung Hee, or simply Gen. Park, as many South Koreans will call him.

Now, what's interesting, to me at least, is what he did in South Korea.

Before Park perpetrated a bloodless military coup on May 16, 1961, South Korea was in a shambles. Corruption was rampant, politicians were ineffectual and worse than all that the people were miserable and starving. Supposedly, starvation was so rampant that people are alleged to have participated in cannibalism.

Park, at that point was a Major General (Sojang in Korean) and was in a position to make improvements. But should he have? As a high ranking general officer, he had command of enough man power to enact change on a drastic level, and if he had a plan he could end the starvation, save his people and, given time, he could make his homeland an economic world power.

But by authoritarian rule?

Park established the Korean Central Intelligence Agency: part secret police, part American CIA, part American FBI. The KCIA had the power to arrest anyone harboring sentiment against the new regime.

Park had a plan, and after he was elected president

When elections were held, opposing candidates were harassed.

Even as these things were happening, the overall economic capacity of South Korea was improving. Park also created The Economic Planning Board (EPB), The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and The Ministry of Finance (MoF). These three groups were charged with making the Korean economy viable. In the short term, they needed to improve people's lives and the domestic flow of commerce. In the long term they were planning to make South Korea an economic world power.

In October 1972, Park suspended the constitution and dissolved the Parliament due to "the dangerous realities of the international situation." I have only a vague notion of what he meant by that; there was a lot of potential problems in 1972 for South Korea, but I truly feel it had nothing to do with outside factors.

I honestly believe that Park just wasn't done yet and that had he not been elected again, the next body in office would certainly have undone most of his plans before they came to fruition.

In the end he was killed by one the people he appointed and I wonder, was Park a good man who used evil to do good or was he and evil man with a plan that got interrupted?

If an evil plan leads to good things, even great things, is it still an evil plan?

If the Joker accidentally cured AIDS with one of his insane chemical concoctions, would the Batman still be justified in throwing him in jail or punishing him at all?

How much of the means colors the end?

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