What triggered South Korea’s rapid economic growth?

Some events including the student revolution of April 1960, the military coup of May 1961, strong state intervention in the economy together with the United States support through aid and access to US markets helped to raise and sustain rapid economic growth.

The students revolted against the Syngman Rhee for electoral irregularities and corruption. Government use of force against the student revolution earned them the support of the public forcing Rhee to step down. The bloodless military coup of General Park replaced the short-lived government of Chang Myun.

The military government was committed to rapid economic growth because it was essential for economic survival and dignity. It was also believed to be a national security issue considering that North Korea was more advanced economically. The military government was also unhappy about continued dependence on outside support. Furthermore, in a country where the military class was subordinated to the literary class for centuries, rapid economic growth was seen as a tool for legitimizing the military regime. Other explanations for high growth have stressed the role of the market mechanism while others have underlined a heavy dose of government intervention in the economy.

Common characteristics of Hitler and Musolin

Hitler and Mussolini shared a lot. Both came to power in Germany and Russia respectively as outsiders – Hitler from Austria and Stalin (man of steel) from Georgia. Napoleon also who ruled France was of Italian descent.

Hitler and Stalin were virtually unknown and powerless. Hitler and Stalin had little education and had no experience in international affairs. Because of these shortcomings they were underestimated as they rearmed Germany and Russia. Both Hitler and Stalin told lies to their people and the rest of the world.

Hitler, Stalin and another dictator Mussolini of Italy shared a strong determination to rewrite the results of WWI and resume the war. World War II that began in 1939 and ended in 1945 was their tailor-made and long-awaited moment (Geoffrey Blainey A Short History of the World 2002).

Do you have examples of other leaders with similar characteristics that you can share with us?

Uganda should learn from The Philippines

The principle method of UDU is to conduct civic education to bring about non-violent change in Uganda. This is the mandate we were given at the Boston conference that built on the Los Angeles conference, three months earlier.

Accordingly we have done some research to learn lessons from those that struggled before us. Studies have shown that non-violent methods are producing more results than armed struggle. Over 70 percent of authoritarian regimes are being removed by non-violence. And violent means can’t succeed unless they have external support including mercenaries as Duncan Kafero of Ugandans to the Rescue (UTR) is doing and made a very unsuccessful attempt to convince Uganda several weeks ago.

Armed struggle has been abandoned in Spain and Palestine. It was abandoned in Iran, East Timore (Timor Leste) and The Philippines. Here is what happened in The Philippines.

Why history lessons are important

A few listeners who are vocal on Radio Munansi are protesting reference to history because it is producing what they don’t want to hear. I must add that the silent majority who communicate privately are happy with the programs and have urged us to continue. The purpose of studying history is to draw lessons that help present leaders to govern better by avoiding past mistakes.

For example, it is stated that Kabaka Mwanga acted too late to control his converted subjects who had come under the influence of missionaries and disrespected the king. What lesson can we draw from this in present circumstances? If we let Museveni and NRM continue to do what they are doing especially dispossessing Ugandans of their land and giving it to foreigners, it may be too late when we decide to act. We need to do it now by vigorously opposing the new landlord tenant bill and the associated national land commission bill. Complaining is necessary but not sufficient. We must act.

How the 1900 Uganda Agreement created a landed oligarchy in Buganda

We are writing these stories by popular demand and as part of civic education. We call on all Ugandans, friends and well wishers to make their constructive contribution to reach a mutually acceptable solution.

Let us begin by explaining how Buganda and Uganda came about and got mixed up. According to Peter N. Gukiina (1972), “’Uganda” meant Buganda kingdom, ‘Uganda’ being the word for ‘Buganda’ in Kiswahili”. Philip D. Curtin (2000) writes “Present-day Uganda takes its name from a Swahili corruption [irregular alteration from original state or form] of the word Buganda”. Both Swahili and Luganda are Bantu languages.

Through Stanley Kabaka Mutesa I invited Christians to come to Buganda to counter Muslim influence coming from the east and the north of the kingdom. Through an anonymous donor the C.M.S. (Church Missionary Society) received 5,000 British pounds. They arrived in 1877. In 1879 the White Fathers Missionaries arrived. Among other things, the long illness of the Kabaka opened the door for political power struggle. The four-to five hundred young pages of the Kabaka became the target of political maneuvering. Within four years Catholics and Anglicans had baptized many of Kabaka’s pages.

Uganda opposition groups must disclose their strategies and structures

There are many Ugandans as individuals and groups that are participating in public criticism of NRM lack of transparency and accountability but they refuse to identify who they are by real names or what they stand for and how they are organized and funded.

Those especially in military organizations have argued that because of security considerations, their activities including recruitment and organizational structures will remain secret until NRM is removed from power. They will continue to raise funds but will not disclose how much and how they are used. Such groups have no moral standing to oppose NRM when they are behaving the same. In both cases transparency and accountability are missing.

NRM which unseated the Okello regime informed the Uganda people and others what its strategy was and its administrative structure. And the leadership was known by their real names. Lule, Museveni, Kisekka and late Kategaya etc never used fake names. Even the military commanders and leaders of external committees etc were known. NRM began publishing its work from August 1981 until December 1985. See their publication titled Mission to Freedom (1990). Why are current organizations refusing to disclose their strategies and structure or reporting the successes they have made so far?