[KS] Montesquieu on Relative Bravery of North and South Koreans
rfrank at imail.de
Tue Jul 16 11:08:13 EDT 2002
Concerning the 'Relative Bravery' issue:
What came up to my mind is that quite naturally, the environment shapes the
people who have to live in it.
(1) The North was naturally the area of Korea which was hit first and
hardest in cases of invasions by land (let's for a moment forget about
(2) The climate is more severe than in the South.
(3) And last but not least, during the Yi-Dynasty (when M.'s observation
was made) the capital was Seoul and the powerful and wealthy gathered
there. The upper class doesn't have to struggle for their lives every day
and become less physically active (sure, there were the factional fights,
but that's not the same).
Especially reflecting on the last point, I would guess that one doesn't
need as much bravery in a highly civilized society as it is necessary under
less favourable conditions (at least not the kind of bravery we are talking
about). Therefore, couldn't Montesqieu's (or the Chinese's) observation be
interpreted as indirectly describing different levels of development in the
mentioned regions of Korea?
Was there in fact a social/economical/general disparity between the North
and the South in that time?
Just an idea.
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