Sunday, November 15, 2009

Wrong answer, wrong question

South Korea has a knack for experiencing spectacular social changes at a spectacular speed.

Take denatality, for instance : Korea took over Japan in only a few years, with a major impact on the country's profile and future (see "
In 2050, almost 10% of Korea's population will not be Korean").

The reasons for this trend are well known : the failure of a system which deters would be parents to have and raise a child. You want to ruin your career ? Have a kid ! You want to spend the next twenty years facing the craziest education system on Earth ? Have a kid ! You want to get broke ? Have a kid !

Ignoring the obvious, conservative lobbies are pointing out abortion as the main - if not only - culprit. Exhibit A : in Korea, every year, 450,000 children are born, and 350,000 abortions performed... only a tiny fraction of which are "legal", or rather allowed by the already very conservative Korean law (which only considers life threatening cases or rapes as "OK").

These ayatollahs want the law to be tightened and fully implemented. Instead of tolerance, respect and understanding : punition, fear, and the usual tragedies traditionally associated with backwards countries (health hazards, despair, exclusion, exile, deaths, abuses...). Besides, a climate of war and oppression is the best guarantee for low birthrates.

Their claims are more than seriously taken into account by the government : according to the JoongAng Ilbo, the Presidential Council for Future and Vision will announce on November 25 series of measures to curb low birthrates including "a much tougher line on abortions".

In other words : instead of correcting the wrongs, Korea may decide to worsen them. This would be the worst answer to the wrong question : the question was not "how to maintain and enforce passeist laws ?" but "what can Korea do in order to make parenthood sound like something different than a curse ?"

I fully understand the political motivations, but please don't call this imposture a Vision for the Future.

Seoul Village 2009

ADDENDUM 20091024 : this post was later published as "Outlawing abortion the wrong answer to the wrong question" in JoongAng Ilbo on 20091124

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comments and remarks. Also for your patience (comments are moderated and are not published right away - only way to curb the spam, sorry). S.

books, movies, music