There has been much critical acclaim for the Korean Movie Parasite directed by Bong Joon Ho after it received an 8 minute standing ovation at the Cannes film festival. Though this movie was released about 7 months ago in Korea and other countries in Asia, it was just released in the United States about a month ago. There was much about this movie that reminded me of a US movie called Dirty Pretty Things that came out in 2002, starring Chiwetal Ejiofor and Audrey Taotuo. Like the underlying theme of dirty pretty things which focused on an examination of lower class blue collar workers that serve the upper class but remain invisible to the upper class whom they serve, parasite also explores similar themes as is important by the advertisements for the movie in which the protagonist family members all have black bars placed across their eyes, as you would see in photos or videos of people in which it is important to protect the anonymity of the people.
And very similarly to dirty pretty things, parasite explores social issues prevalent not only in modern South Korea today but pretty much prevalent in every society in which the rich often only look upon the working class as a segment of society whose purpose on this planet is solely to serve them. This subject matter has been one that director Boon Jong Ho has frequently revisited in his films, and is one that has been increasingly discussed since the 2008 global financial crisis ushered in obscene levels of wealth inequality in the world, not only in developing nations around the world, but also in developed nations, like Korea and the United States. In fact wealth inequality in the US has grown so obscene that to start the New Year billionaire hedge fund manager Ray Dalio stated that if the broken banking monetary and economic system is not fixed very soon, class warfare will result in which chaos will ensure and in his direct words, “We will kill each other.” In traveling throughout the developing nations in Asia, I am always surprised to learn from speaking to young people that they are completely ignorant of the massive Grand Canyon like gaps of wealth inequality that now exist in the US and that they still hold a perspective of America is a place where immigrants can pursue their dreams and become wealthy, as if nothing about America has changed from the 1970s. Today in the US, the reality is that not the top 1% but the top 0.1% have the same wealth as the bottom 90%, or 298 million Americans.
In Parasite, the main protagonists of the movie consist of the Kim family, a lower class family that lives in a basement apartment in Seoul at the bottom of the hills, who form a parasitic relationship with the wealthy Park family who live on top of the hills in Seoul. I don’t want to reveal any more than this main plot point as this will be a spoiler free review, other than to state that there are multiple parasitic relationships that are revealed throughout the movie, with conflicts between the Kim family and other lower-class working class characters that fight for the right to occupy the host, the wealthy Park family and to feed off of the Park’s family success.
This is a fascinating perspective to explore a parasitic relationship in regard to socioeconomic interplay between different classes, as this movie was made in the aftermath in the 2008 global economic crisis in which the wealthy banking class was infamously labelled by American journalist as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money”, and likewise described as a parasite by American Catherine Austin Fitts, the president of consulting firm Solari, who also described the upper class as tapeworms that borrowed into working class Americans, feeding off them and eventually killing them. Tapeworms are very apropos analogy as tapeworms cleverly alter the cravings of its host to make it eat the specific foods and nutrients the tapeworm needs to stay alive, all the while killing its host.
In other words, the tapeworm induces its host to feed it to stay alive, and for its host to act in a manner beneficial to its very enemy, much as many people today defend fractional reserve bankers as “bankers that serve society” even though the very system they continue to defend continues to kill them. This delusion that Central Bankers are there to serve the people that reside inside the nations in which they operate also feed the myth that is hled by millions of Americans that the US dollar will never crash because US central bankers are devoted to upholding the purchasing power of the US dollar. This is a general falsehood embraced by the majority of citizens about their Central bankers in every nation in this world and the number one reason that prevents us from making decisions best for our own self-preservation, and that steers us, very sadly, into behavior that ensures that the very people that perpetuate and increase our economic struggles will remain in power. Until the majority of people in this world understand that the mission of the ECB is to destroy the Euro, the mission of US Central Bankers is to destroy the dollar, the mission of the Bank of Japan is to destroy the yen and so on, we will never be free from the type of destructive parasitic relationships that exist among different socioeconomic classes.
So in the film parasite, the parasitic dynamic criticized by Austin-Fitts and Taibbi has been reversed, in which working class members in Seoul, South Korea seek wealthy hosts to feed off and stay alive and thrive. This movie was popular in Korea as well because the topics it addresses is very timely, as it is a time, due to a poor economy, in which the term Hell Joseon, or Hell Korea, that has become very popular with Koreans in their 20s and 30s as it describes a belief by upwards of 70% of youth in Korea that their nation is an unjust one that segregates the rich from everyone else and provides special privileges to the upper class, while relegating the opportunities for anyone that does not attend the “right universities” in Seoul. In addition, with a minimum wage of only about $6 an hour, in which many university graduates may work very long hours, the lack of economic opportunity has led to many younger Koreans to describe the economic system in Korea as broken, much as US billionaire Ray Dalio described the US economic system. And to add insult to injury, back in 2010, then Korean President Lee Myung-bak launched a national campaign to make Korea a more “Just Society” but then his administration was rocked by scandal with his own cabinet members were discovered to engage in nepotism and appoint their own children to high paying jobs within the government ministry. Since then, multiple Korean government administrations have been rocked by allegations of bribery, corruption and scandal, doing nothing to repair the view among Korean youth about the wealthy class being inherently corrupt. To view young Korean’s reasons why the Hell Korea narrative has resonated with so many, I’ve provided a couple of links to videos here and here if you are interested in learning more.
It is very curious to me, however, that despite the identification of youth all around the world of their government administrations as incredibly corrupt, that often their anger is always directed to the government for the ‘broken system” they reference, and almost never, is the very culpable fractional reserve banking and fiat currency monetary system the target of their frustration, when it very well should be. To me, the fact that frustrated and alienated youth all around the world often leave what should be the primary target of their frustration, the central banking fiat currency monetary system, completely untouched and unaddressed in all of their protests and demonstrations only reveals the remarkable job that those in power have executed in their games of disinformation and distraction. Those in power have experts diverted the attention of restless and an increasingly hopeless youth away from the real culprits that have robbed their dreams and their hopes and towards government officials that often are mere pawns in the chess game of bankers as well.
In the movie parasite, the patriarch of the wealthy Park family repeatedly states throughout the film the repugnant smell of their servants and even explicitly states that while his driver often approaches the point of crossing the line, he never crosses the line, except for his smell. The patriarch’s comment is very revealing as it serves as a commentary for how the rich view the working class, in that as long as they do their job to make their life easy and remain in the background and do not insert themselves into their lives in a way that is intrusive, that everything is fine. However, Park’s driver cannot help the way he smells, because the smell is associated with the dankness of his lower class dwelling that permeates his clothes. Park mentions that the smell crosses the line because at this point, the smell burdens Park by providing Park a constant reminder of his driver’s presence, and other than the fact that his driver gets him from point A to point B in a timely fashion and is a good reference for where he can find good food, Park would rather not interact with his driver beyond what is absolutely necessary.
Parasite was a very apropos name to describe the societal relationship between different socio economic classes because parasitic human relationships exist in every nation, not just in Korea, and I believe this is why so many people around the world related to this film. However, what also makes this film so appealing to people from so many different nations is that the film does not present the wealthy Park family as the villains and the poor Kim family as the heroes. In fact the matriarch of the Park family is presented as naïve and innocent, without a manipulative bone in her body and as quite likeable, as is the daughter of the family as well. On the flip side, the poor Kim family is presented as the more morally repugnant family, continually manipulating the Parks, lying, and engaging in multiple acts of shady deception. And these portrayals made the story even more believable during the viewing experience. I also thought the title of the movie was very carefully chosen as more than half the species on planet Earth, according to biologists, exhibit parasitic behavior. Thus, since Mother Nature is dominated by parasitic behaviors, why should humans not be ruled by parasitic behavior in their behavior toward one another as well?
Consequently, I thought the narrative in the movie Parasite was very clever in that it not only flipped the normal relationships of parasitic behavior from the more popular take in human society, that the rich prey upon and explore the poor and working class to become rich, but that it also reversed the parasitic relationships that exist in mother nature when exploring the parasitic behavior among the various characters of the film. For example, biologists state that parasites are necessary as they help control dominant species by reducing the reproduction levels of dominant species in nature to ensure diversity necessary for a healthy ecosystem.
However, the parasitic relationships that exist among humans of different socio economic classes are antithetical of the relationships that exist in nature, much like the prototypical wealth pyramid, which has become completely inverted in recent years. The beneficial parasitic relationships that exist in nature have been completely inverted by human beings to the point where these parasitic relationships are not beneficial to humanity in general, but highly destructive. Instead of a weaker economic parasite controlling the reproduction of the dominant species and ensuring diversity necessary for a thriving and healthy economy, the stronger parasite of the global banking class has used a destructive fiat currency fractional reserve monetary system to transform all of us into the economic equivalent of Sisyphus, a slave relegated to rolling an economic boulder up a steep hill repeatedly for the duration of our lifetimes only to watch it slip and roll to the bottom of the hill every time we nearly reach the pinnacle.
In this manner, the ruling parasitic banking class ensures that a massive percentage of them global population, in only earning 2.50 a day or less, will have to spend the majority of their waking hours working for food and shelter just to stay alive, or of having to work multiple jobs just to survive, eventually draining the energy and the health of the majority of the world’s population. Thus the economically dominant species has inverted the parasitic relationship to ensure that they kill the economic mobility of the economically weaker species to wipe out all economic diversity. This has resulted in a severely and rapidly shrinking middle class in nearly all nations on planet Earth. And in regards to the Hell Joseon or Hell Korea narrative that has spread among Korean youth recently, most Koreans hate the word noryeog, or effort, because the wealthy class in Korea is always stating, much like in America, that if everyone just works hard and pulls themselves up by their bootstraps, that the socioeconomic class into which you are born is irrelevant, and because a fair and just society exists, anyone can move into the wealthy class with the right amount of effort.
In my upcoming 21 course online academy, skwealthacademy, I explain in great detail, using real world examples, why this concept, one often forwarded by billionaires, of a level playing field, is patently untrue under a fractional reserve banking system that has built-in multiple advantages that allow the uber wealthy to increase their share of the wealth pie in every nation in the world. Furthermore as I explained above, the 2010 Presidential campaign of a Just society further fueled skepticism among Korean youth and the Hell Chosun narrative. One can say that similar movements are forming all over the world as many youth are becoming gravely disenchanted with the concept of a fair justice system, especially given pedophile child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislane Maxwell’s close connections to the wealthiest members of society in both the political and financial arenas in many nations, yet the complete lack of interest in any top prosecutor or even mainstream journalist of bringing Maxwell to justice. Again, people all around the world view such lack of interest in convicting heinous crimes and bringing the wealthy people associated with such crimes to justice as further confirmation of a two system world with different rules for the rich and everyone else.
And recently this story became even weirder when adored banking industry economist Paul Krugman claimed this week that someone was downloading child pornography using his IP address and pretending to be him. Furthermore, the US government prosecutor has changed their story multiple times about video footage being available from Epstein’s initial suicide attempt. First it wasn’t available, then they found it, then they lost it again. And of course the cameras stopped working during his actual suicide act. Even the CCTV camera footage at banks, when bankers murder someone and claim it was suicide, as was the case with Monti dei Paschi di Siena’s David Rossi, was not lost and was posted on YouTube. In the footage, in which Mr. Rossi was violently thrown backwards out a second story window and then checked on by two thugs to ensure his injuries would kill him, it is extremely difficult to support the claims of bankers that Mr. Rossi jumped to his death. And if you really want to learn about the true origins of the Hong Kong protests, one of the massively important origins, never discussed in mainstream media, is extreme dissatisfaction of youth with the existing wealth inequality in Hong Kong and the unaffordability of housing, that by far, is the most expensive in the entire world. Thus, the director of Parasite cleverly decided to reverse the dominant parasitic relationship of the rich exploiting the poor into a storyline in which the poor is more parasitic of the rich.
I am going to end this podcast with a discussion if perhaps there is a better description of the parasitic exploitation of the banking class of the rest of the inhabitants on planet earth than Matt Taibbis’ vampire squid or Catherine Austin Fitts’ tapeworm analogies. As Bong Joon Ho’s movie Parasite explored the parasitic relationship between humans and the symbiotic relationships required by one class of humans to excel financially at the expense of another class, there is no better parasitic relationship to explore than that between bankers and us. There are at many different categories that describe parasites
Ectoparasites live on the surface of a host they infect. Endoparasites burrow inside and feed of a host’s body. Examples are hookworms and tapeworms. Obligate parasites cannot complete its life cycle without a host while facultative parasites do not require a host to complete their life cycle. In describing societal relationships among income classes, the relationship between the obscenely wealthy and every other class is one in which the obscenely wealthy are often facultative parasites, simply because they require a parasitic banking and economic system that enables them to transfer the majority of money earned from the working class and all other socioeconomic classes below them, to only themselves. Thus, since their wealth is sucked from socioeconomic classes below them, their life cycle could not be completed unless they infect billions of other hosts, all other members of the working class.
Curiously enough, parasites adopt six different strategies to complete their mission of infection. A directly transmitted parasite makes their own way to their host. A trophically transmitted parasite requires ingestion by a host in order to complete their infection. A vector transmitted parasite relies on an intermediate host to carry them to their final targeted host. For example, some parasites imbed themselves in mosquitos and then enter the bloodstream of mammals when mosquitos transmit a bite. Parasitic castrators either partly or fully inhibit a host’s reproductive ability but allow the organism to live. Parasitoids lay eggs on or inside one targeted host, with developing larvae feeding on the host as a food source until it eventually kills the host. And finally a micropredator parasite will feed off of many different hosts, weakening each host it attacks but leaving most hosts alive.
As former US government cabinet member Catherine Austin Fitts stated, the banking class are Endoparasites, like tapeworms, because in addition to draining our savings accounts through an immoral banking system that promotes wealth inequality instead of trying to solve it, they unfortunately have infected the minds of most people on planet Earth through centuries of disinformation spread in academic textbooks and classrooms. They are also obligate parasites because they really do not perform any labor of value for society but merely rely on transferring money from all others to themselves in order to build their wealth, so they rely on sucking out money earned by productive members of society for themselves. Recall that one of their own, former Central Bank chairman, Paul Volcker stated after the 2008 global financial crisis that bankers had contributed nothing positive to the world in decades other than the ATM machine and that all they did was move money around (which was just a euphemism for the much starker unspoken truth that they serve as conduits to enable the perpetual transfer money from the lower classes to the upper classes) They are vector transmitted parasites because they rely on their ownership of major media distribution channels and academic systems throughout the world to dumb us down to the point whereby we don’t understand their parasitic relationship with us. And they are parasitoids because the massive wealth inequality they create will eventually cause massive global starvation (reference my blog article written decades ago) in the next decade.