National Public Radio (NPR) had a piece this morning about a South Korean American citizen being ejected from South Korea for 5 years for writing two books about North Korea which happened to have some good things to say about North Korea. Nothing specific. Things like good beer. Anyway, there is an old law from South Korea’s democratic government’s beginnings that allow prosecution of anyone who says anything nice about North Korea, in order to avoid destroying the democratic government and replacing it with the same communistic government gripping North Korea.
The problem is that the law is entirely too vague to be useful and can be easily used to diminish the very democratic ideals that it was implemented to protect. Almost everyone, including the U.S. government is advising a revision to that law. However, it’s their law, so it’s up to them to change it. However, the title of this post comes from the law. It is a fine piece of irony and hypocrisy that the law is meant to protect democracy by limiting free speech.
Is it appropriate for a democracy to limit free speech in order to protect its ideals? I submit that limiting the free speech is a ridiculously fascist move, and needs to be replaced with patriotic programming in school. School is designed to program children to work in factories, so it is only natural to train them to counteract anti-democratic speech and group-think with a sense of having your own thoughts and being able to reject an incompatible concept. Of course in the real world, the good programming tends to be ignored in favor of rote memorization and other boring things designed to pass a meaningless test.
Why haven’t we game-ified schoolwork yet? Kids work hard at games. Test scores are not sufficiently similar to game scores.