[Viewpoint] Where is the liberals’ logic?

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[Viewpoint] Where is the liberals’ logic?

Karl Marx rejected a utopian concept of socialism and considered his own theories a scientific and empirical study of society and its historical development. He was a devout believer of science and preached as such all his life.

An orthodox pupil of the Marxist School, Vladimir Lenin incessantly preached that all that is valuable should be achieved through scientific methods. Progressive reformers then took the Marxist-Leninist ideology across many frontiers to wage war against global capitalism.

In 1864, socialists launched the First Proletarian International Movement and, in 1889, the Second International through the propagation of hundreds of socialist and labor organizations. Science and international propagation of their ideas were the two pillars of the liberal movement.

They claimed to worship facts.

A while ago, a civilian diver claiming to be an expert on the sinking of the Cheonan Naval corvette released a video showing how he could erase a handwritten numeral from the surface of a piece of metal by the use of a blow torch - obviously mocking the government’s key piece of evidence in the Cheonan probe, a torpedo propellor marked with a Korean character and the numeral 1. His point was that the numeral on the propellor couldn’t have survived the torpedo’s explosion.

Those who refuse to believe in North Korea’s culpability in the tragedy cheered.

But they are no smarter than fourth graders. In fourth grade science books, there is a lesson on “candlelight that is not hot,” where students learn why their fingertips do not get burned if they pass them quickly across a candle flame.

Heat transfer is proportional to the difference of temperature between two objects as well as their proximity. An explosive bursts in seconds.

The diver was able to melt away the number after heating it for a while. This doesn’t come across as science even to elementary students.

University of Virginia physics professor Lee Seung-hun wrote an opinion piece in a newspaper raising questions about the credibility of the handwritten numeral on the propellor. He claimed the mark would have dissolved when the torpedo exploded.

But on an electronic bulletin board for the Pohang University of Science and Technology, science students disagreed with Lee’s argument. “The propellor with the numeral was found more than five meters [16.4 feet] away from the warhead and the explosive blew up in cold waters,” they wrote

“Lee’s claim has not factored in the fact that the propellor may have been pushed away by the explosion,” one student wrote. Another argued Lee did not take into account the speed of the parts separating during the explosion in calculating the heat transferred.

They sided with the Defense Ministry’s explanation that the mark could remain intact along with paint around the numeral.

The international community has agreed with the investigative body’s findings. One member of the team was from Sweden, militarily a non-aligned country.

Russian experts are still studying the report, but Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said he respected the results of the joint investigation.

Yet nearly three out of 10 South Koreans remain doubtful.

When brainwashed by political rhetoric, scientific evidence and international responses can fall on deaf ears. Our liberal population remains aloof from science and the international flow of information.

We saw the same phenomenon during the mad cow scare. Most scientists argued that a one-in-a-million chance of the disease spreading could be ignored.

Other countries had no problems with the safety of American beef. Yet liberals at home fanned the mad cow disease panic.

The same pessimism permeates the Cheonan aftermath.

The conservative side presents scientific fact, concrete evidence and international agreement, while the liberals continue their doubting Thomas act.

If the liberals persist with their irrationality, they may not last. Marx would turn over in his grave to see the state of the left wing here.

There was a time when the Socialist Party flourished in Japan. But the party met its demise when it turned ideologically intransigent without any regard to real social concerns and international trends.

A healthy society should fly on two political wings.

But after the mad cow scare and Cheonan sinking, there is a strong doubt whether a two-wing system can be sustained in this society.

After the collapse of Japan’s Socialist Party, only two conservative parties remained. We could become like Japan if the liberals keep up their foolishness. Coincidentally - or not? - when the Socialist Party dissolved in 1996, Japan’s economy stopped growing.

*Translation by the JoongAng Daily staff.
The writer is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.

By Lee Cheol-ho
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