[VIEWPOINT]A conqueror’s mindsetHas the Roh Moo-hyun administration, which claims to be the “flower” of democracy and is a self-proclaimed “participatory government,” ever talked about the democratization of North Korea? Why do so many civic groups keep silent about the cruel suppression of human rights in North Korea? For whom do they keep their mouths closed?
Nonetheless, the Roh administration is pouring in trillions of won worth of aid in support of Kim Jong-il’s rule in the North. It has even issued government bonds and raised taxes to provide more aid to North Korea. At a word of request from the North, the government has decided to provide medicine and other material worth astronomical amounts, going beyond humanitarian aid, to the North. What are the intentions and purposes of such excessive aid to the North? For whom are we providing such aid?
I wonder whether the people who have no record of contributing to the national coffers feel guilty at all for spending tax money endlessly. I am just shocked at the reality where the people who planted the seeds of economic development and the people who reap the harvests can be so different.
The public has now crossed over the point of worrying about our economy. The people have been nervous about the future of our country for a long time. However, the Roh administration is calm about the matter, saying that our economy is as firm as a rock and entering a stable stage, and that it does not understand why people are complaining. What is worse, when the elders of society say things out of heartfelt sympathy and concern for our country, they absurdly talk back, saying that such political statements rather make the nation more unstable. Now the Roh administration and the people are walking two different roads that do not have much chance of meeting again. What could be the reason for this?
Squarely put, it is probably because the government is immersed in a conqueror mindset. Don’t they think that they have finally “conquered” the Republic of Korea? They have an attitude of negating a lot of things that the Republic of Korea accomplished since national liberation. They say that the economic development praised as the “Miracle of the Han River” is just some small thing. They do not mind the situation where our country has become internationally known as an ungrateful country by criticizing General MacArthur as an enemy of the state. They are not concerned even if the United States regrets that the result of aiding Korea in economic reconstruction and democratization is anti-Americanism.
The ruling paradigm of the conqueror is to divide and rule. Since the Roh administration came into power, people suddenly realized that they became conservative nuts overnight. That is the prologue to divide and rule. Women’s rights, abortion, homosexuality, taxes and the size of government are the international standards to discern progressivism and conservatism. In the Roh administration, however, democrats who hate dictatorship and have fought for freedom become Cold War conservatives. And what is even more shocking is that the identity of progressives and reformists is becoming changed to positive emotions and unconditional love for unification under communism and hereditary succession of a communist ruler. This is an insult to pure progressives.
Not being affected at all by the reality, where more people commit suicide because of the grim realities of life, homeless people increase and there are even people who jump into the river after hearing the president’s speech, is hard to imagine unless you are a conqueror. “Tributes” of giving unconditionally to North Korea, adoration of those who tried to conquer the Republic of Korea, and feeling at a loss over the failure of their conquest are things that cannot be understood unless you share the same mindset as the conquerors of North Korea.
What do the low support rate for the Roh administration and the consecutive defeats in by-elections mean? They mean that the people reject their attempts to conquer the Republic of Korea. In their hearts, they want impeachment. It is the silent resistance of the good people.
Finally, our classrooms are degraded to places for ideological training where they teach class struggle, anti-Americanism and an anti-market economy mindset. The nation’s public broadcasting stations have become the vanguards of propaganda against the Republic of Korea. The republic that gives a free hand to anti-national activities that harm the national identity and value or even encourage such activities is now in the state of intentional anarchy. National wealth is being leaked to North Korea and abroad, anti-corporate sentiment and big business bashing are rampant and the move to unify the nation under communism becomes an open secret. What is going to become of this country? Will this become a place for a party where only the conquerors of the nation share their dividends? We need to open our eyes wide and wait and see.
* The writer is a professor of mass communications at Kangwon National University. Translation by the JoongAng Daily Staff.
by Lee Kwan-youl