ROK Drop

Avatar of USinKoreaBy on May 8th, 2012 at 6:04 am

View of Freedom in Korea in 1962

This is an interesting article in the young Korea Journal.  (Freedom Reconsidered)

There was a time when the Liberal Party and its stooges indulged in extortion to insure the election of a mentally infirm old man to the presidency and a known cripple as his successor.  Day in and day out, newspapers were reporting police brutality and oppression in the countryside.

Not to discount the veracity of what he said, but, this early paragraph boldly announces this is more an editorial than an academic piece…

He goes on to briefly highlight the fall of the Rhee presidency and state that since the change in government, people have been abusing their new, hard-fought for freedoms.


Therefore, it is appropriate that “freedom” is being reappraised by the present administration and others concerned.  Consequently, one school of thought found in the learned segment of the population has come to prevail in the discussion of freedom and democracy.

This thinking maintains that democracy and freedom are luxuries which only advanced countries can afford.  In a lesser developed country like Korea, the first priority should be feeding the population.  Furthermore, the people do not care one way or another as long as their stomachs are full.

Park Chung-Hee took power in 1961 and this article was written in 1962.

The writer believes such thought is not only fallacious but dangerous since it inhibits freedom as a way of life.

While granting that the economic problem of Korea is indeed grave, it is hardly conceivable that freedom and economic order are not compatible.  As we all know, economic planning in democratic countries is devoted solely to enlarging the scope of human activities while freeing man from the perpetual threat of hunger.  The increase in human activity broadens the scope of freedom in which man, with non-economic incentives and initiative, can attain the goal of living in peace and brotherhood.


Later on:

Restrictions have been placed on the communists in this country and some other free nations of the world.  It is elementary that communists preaching violent overthrow of the existing social order cannot enjoy the privileges of freedom which they are pledged to destroy.

Short article, but some interesting insights about the nature of society and government in general and a window into Korea in the early 1960s…



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