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Socrates on North Korea – the play. July 29, 2008

Posted by Sverre in : Political Theory , add a comment

The first proper blog post is a piece that was written for a graduate class in democracy theory. The class was divided into two teams that were asked to defend or oppose a given statement. In the debate in question, my team’s assignment was to defend the North Korean state calling itself the “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”. As points were awarded by our professor for creativity, I decided to be a bit original and write an opening argument as a play based on Plato’s The Republic.Condi, Kim-Il Sung and Socrates in debate.

Defending North Korea as a democracy is of course ludicrous for any informed westerner. In fact I want to make it expressly clear to anyone that doesn’t see the irony that I do in no way whatsoever endorse what I consider the dictatorial and inhumane state of North Korea.

With this in mind we had to resort to rhetorical tricks and clouding the subject for any chance to win the debate on more technical terms. My tactic was therefore to start attacking the arguments I presumed the opposition would be making in an unexpected way, trying to discredit their sources.

The paper is loosely based on Plato’s style of writing, with the introduction slightly altered from the introduction of Plato’s The Republic. In this piece, Socrates – usually the main character in Plato’s dialogues – debates with a number of opponents on the subject of North Korea – among them John Stuart Mill, Montesquieu, Alexander Hamilton and Condoleezza Rice. (more…)