[EDITORIALS]The resurgence of the center

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[EDITORIALS]The resurgence of the center

More and more groups promoting liberal democracy and capitalist economy are being formed recently. “Christian Social Responsibility,” a Protestant group, and “Liberalism Solidarity,” a group of former student activists of 1980s, are representatives of the trend. The groups share a common view in one respect: They are critical of the Roh administration and the liberals as well as the Grand National Party and the conservatives. They complain that both parties have failed to show a vision and philosophy to lead our society.
Today, Korean society is split because of the confrontation between left and right. Politicians, intellectuals, religious leaders, the media and artists are divided.
Reflecting that division, those with good sense have been emphasizing that it is time for us to have an alternative to overcome the ideological conflict. The new groups are probably the product of such awareness and we welcome them.
They call themselves moderate integrators and theoretical conservative leaders. But such a movement will have a meaning only when some conditions are met.
First, the new leaders must not hold hands with politicians. When they lose their innocence, they will become a part of another political movement or will take sides again. Concerns are already rising that some conservatives may use the new groups as their agents in political fights.
It is also urgent for the new forces to go beyond the anti-Roh movement. The groups have severely criticized the current administration, saying that our society faces a crisis. But, their criticism against the Grand Nationals was weak ― the opposition party was criticized only for trying to maintain its established rights.
Although the new movement sprang from dissatisfaction with the Roh administration’s poor governance, it should go beyond that, or it will be no different from the obsolete conservatives. The initiators of the new movement include those who followed North Korea’s juche philosophy as college student activists. We are concerned that they will choose the opposite extreme as a reflex action.
Amid severe ideological confrontation, calling for moderation and ending divisions take courage and meet the needs of our time. To give life to that courage, they should provide a fresh vision, not just disapproval of our situation.

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