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February 2010
 
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Fri, Jan. 9th, 2009 01:36 am
Capitalism: doesn't it make you (mentally) sick?

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krskrft
krskrft
Fri, Jan. 9th, 2009 12:41 pm (UTC)

The thing I've noticed since moving to Korea is that it's hyper-capitalist here (look up "chaebol" on wikipedia), yet people seem to be content to live relatively modest lives compared to US citizens. So I don't think it's the underlying economic system that is the fundamental problem. I think that the prevailing notions of individualism have a lot to do with this. Americans like to build individual sanctuaries, where they can be away from others, away from the bustle of everyday living. They like big, spacious homes and big, spacious cars for this reason. And the geography of the US supports this, because the country itself is so enormous, and so much of the land is at least reasonably habitable. Koreans, on the other hand, have no real option other than to live austere, modest lives. It is a very tech-savvy, stylish culture, so you see a lot of gadgets (cell phones, mp3 players, flat-screen TVs, fancy clothes), but the biggest signs of opulence (enormous houses and gigantic cars) are all but absent.


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