다른백년 “북핵보다 위험한 것은 ‘안보 비밀주의’”

다른백년
“북핵보다 위험한 것은 ‘안보 비밀주의’”

2017년 11월 21일

임마누엘 페스트라이쉬 

 

사드를 더 이상 추가 배치하지 않을 것이며 나토와 유사한 한미일 군사동맹에 참여하지 않겠다는 한국의 최근 발표에, 많은 사람들이 문재인 정부를 결국 정상궤도로 복귀시키고 동아시아의 평화적 통합으로 향하게 하는 돌파구라며 환호했다.

그러나 내게는 전혀 인상적이지 않았다. 우선 중국과의 합의가, 그 내용이 어찌 되었건, 전적으로 불투명하다. 미일과의 군사 및 정보 분야 비밀 합의와 유사하게, 이제 중국과의 비밀 합의가 병행되고 있음을 시사한다. 진정한 해결책이란 중대한 전략적 이슈에 관한 투명성을 강조하여 비밀주의로부터 벗어나는 것이다. 특정한 외교 관계에서는 단기적으로 비밀주의가 필요하기도 하다는 점을 인정하더라도 말이다.

한국에게 필요한 것은 공개적인 논의다. 중국과 한국, 미국, 일본의 광범한 전문가들을 포함하여 모든 사람에게 논의를 개방하고, 진정한 안보 위협이 무엇인지를 공개적으로 토론해야 한다. 논의해야 할 위협에는 미사일과 사이버 전쟁뿐만 아니라 사막화의 확산 및 해수면의 상승(해수 온난화)이 포함된다. 과학적인 접근법에 기초하는 공개적인 논의가 이루어진다면, 북한의 ‘위협’에는 긴장완화로 가장 잘 대처할 수 있으며, 북한의 핵무기는 기후변화와 같은 재앙에 비해 작은 위협에 지나지 않는다는 점이 바로 드러날 것이다. Read more of this post

‘외국인이 바라본 한글의 창의성’ 특강

‘외국인이 바라본 한글의 창의성’

특강

이만열교수님_강의자료_NHM (1)medium

2017년 11월 24일 금요일 오후 4-5:30

국립한글박물관

 

 

24일 오후 4시부터는 제3회 인문학 특강 ‘외국인이 바라본 한글의 창의성’을 개최한다. 강연자는 경희대 임마누엘 페스트라이쉬 교수(한국 이름 이만열)이다. 페스트라이쉬 교수는 2005년 주미한국대사관 자문관으로 활동한 이래 우송대, 경희대 등에서 교수로 재직하며 한국과 한국문화에 대한 연구와 강의 활동을 활발히 해 왔다.

이번 인문학 특강은 임마누엘 페스트라이쉬 교수가 바라보는 한글의 문자적 가치를 살펴보는 자리로 외국인 학자의 눈을 통해 한글을 살펴볼 수 있다는 점에서 기대를 모은다. 아울러 세종시대의 철학과 사고방식이 우리 사회에 주는 의미에 대해서도 폭넓게 이야기할 예정이다.

임마누엘 페스트라이쉬 교수는 중어중문학 학사 학위(1987년), 비교문화학 석사 학위(1992년), 동아시아언어문화학 박사 학위(1997년)를 취득한 언어문화 연구 전문가다. 대표적인 저서로 ‘세계의 석학들, 한국의 미래를 말하다'(2012년), ‘한국인만 모르는 다른 대한민국'(2013년), ‘한국인만 몰랐던 더 큰 대한민국'(2017년) 등이 있다. 연암 박지원의 소설을 영문 번역본으로 출간할 정도로 한글 문학에도 관심이 크다. 현재 경희대 국제학부 부교수 겸 아시아 인스티튜트 소장으로 재직하고 있다.

국립한글박물관은 인문학 특강을 통해 한글과 한글문화를 다양한 관점에서 재해석하고 한글문화에 대한 공감대를 만들어나가는 자리를 마련하고 있다. 이번 특강은 국립한글박물관 누리집(www.hangeul.go.kr)에서 사전 신청을 통해 무료로 참여할 수 있다.

 

(http://news1.kr/articles/?3159413)

“문재인과 트럼프와 정치의 죽음” 다른 백년

다른 백년

“문재인과 트럼프와 정치의 죽음”

2017년 11월 14일

임마누엘 페스트라이쉬

 

 

지난주에 미국의 대통령 도널드 트럼프와 한국의 문재인 대통령 간에 오간 말들을 지켜보면서 나는 두 나라에서 ‘정치’가 얼마나 타락했는지를 절감했다.

자신이 소유한 고급 골프코스와 사치스런 요리에 대해 말하는 트럼프의 말에선 한국과 미국의 수백만 저임금 노동자와 실업자들은 존재하지도 않는 듯했다. 그의 말은 단지 ‘미국 퍼스트’를 넘어서 ‘트럼프 퍼스트’를 떠들어대는 것으로 들렸다.

그런 트럼프에 대해 문재인 대통령은 전혀 이의를 달거나 꾸짖지 못했다. 그의 인종주의적인 발언이나 이민자들에 대한 차별적 정책, 북한에 대한 무분별한 위협에 대해 제동을 거는 아무런 말도 하지 못했다. 한국의 언론들은 모든 미국인들, 그리고 대다수의 한국인들이 트럼프의 우스꽝스럽고 위험한 정책을 지지하는 것처럼 보도했다.

나는 트럼프와 문재인 두 사람의 발언들을 보면서 ‘정치’는 정확히 어떤 것인지, 그리고 우리가 ‘정치’를 복원하기 위해선 무엇을 해야 하는지에 대해 되돌아보았다.

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Thinking back on Barbarossa

The odd mood lingering on at the end of Donald Trump’s visit to Asia inspired me to reread the opening of a book that I read last as a high school junior. The words speak for themselves.

 

Stalingrad

Anthony Beevor

Pages 3-4

 

Saturday, 21 June 1941, produced a perfect summer’s morning. Many Berliners took the train out to Potsdam to spend the day in the park of Sans Souci. Others went swimming from the beaches of the Wannsee or the Nikolassee. In cafes, the rich repertoire of jokes about Rudolf Hess’s flight to Britain had given way to stories about an imminent invasion of the Soviet Union. Others, dismayed at the idea of a much wider war, rested their hopes upon the idea that Stalin would cede the Ukraine to Germany at the last moment.

In the Soviet Embassy on the Unter den Linden officials were at their posts. An urgent signal from Moscow demanded “an important clarification” of the huge military preparations along the frontiers from the Baltic to the Black Sea. Valentin Berezhkov, the first secretary and chief interpreter, rang the German Foreign Office on the Wlimhelmstrasse to arrange a meeting. He was told that Reichsminister Joachim von Ribbentrop was out of town, and that Staatssekretär Freiherr von Weizsäcker could not be reached by phone. As the morning passed, more and more urgent messages arrived from Moscow demanding news. There was an atmosphere of repressed hysteria in the Kremlin as the evidence of German intentions mounted, adding to more than eighty warnings received over the previous eight months. The deputy head of the NKVD had just reported that there were no fewer than “thirty-nine aircraft incursions over the state border of the USSR” during the previous day. The Wehrmacht was quite shameless in its preparations, yet the lack of secrecy seems only to have confirmed the idea in Stalin’s convoluted mind that this must all be part of a plan by Adolf Hitler to extract greater concessions.

The Soviet Ambassador in Berlin, Vladimir Dekanozov, shared Stalin’s conviction that it was all a campaign of disinformation, originally started by the British. He even dismissed a report of his own military attaché that 180 divisions had deployed along the border. Dekanozov, a protégé of Lavrenty Beria, was yet another Georgian and a senior member of the NKVD. His experience of foreign affairs had gone little beyond interrogating and purging rather more practiced diplomats. Other members of the mission, although they did not dare express their views too forcefully, had little doubt that Hitler was planning to invade. They had even sent on the proofs of a phrase book prepared for invading troops, which had been brought secretly to the Soviet consulate by a German communist printer. Useful terms included the Russian for “Surrender!”, “hands up!”, “Where is the collective farm chairman?”, “are you a communist?”, and “I’ll shoot!”

 

 

 

“The Decay of the US-Korea Relationship” The Peace Report  

The Peace Report

 

“The Decay of the US-Korea Relationship”

November 8, 2017

 

Emanuel Pastreich

 

http://thepeacereport.com/decay-us-korea-relationship/

 

Watching the speeches of President Donald Trump and President Moon Jae-in in Seoul over the last few days gave me a sense of just how rotten the politics of both countries has grown. Trump spoke about his lavish golf course and the fine foods he had enjoyed, dwelling on the sensual indulgence and pretending that the millions of underpaid and unemployed people in Korea and the United States did not exist. He spoke boastfully of the over-priced military equipment that South Korea had been compelled to purchase and indulged in praise for the Korean War so distant from the challenges faced by ordinary people. His talk was not even “America First.” It was unremitting “Trump first.”

And Moon did not challenge him or even chide him on a single point. No mention was made of Trump’s rabid racist language and its impact on Asians, or his discriminatory immigration policies. Nor was anything said about Trump’s rabid warmongering and his reckless threats of war against North Korea, and even veiled threats against Japan in his recent speech in Tokyo. No, the working assumption behind the meetings was that the summit was to be a mechanical and trite grand guignol for the masses, combined with behind-the-scenes big business deals for the super-rich.

The Korean media made it seem like all Americans, and most Koreans, supported the ridiculous and dangerous policies of Donald Trump, and legitimized his reactionary policies with abandon. One came away with the impression that it was perfectly fine for an American president to threaten preemptive nuclear war for North Korea’s testing of missiles (an action which is not in violation of international law) and nuclear weapons (which India did with American encouragement).

I made a short speech to offer another vision for what the United States role in East Asia could be. I did so because I worried that many Koreans would come away from the Trump with the impression that all Americans were just as militant and brazenly profit-motivated.

Although Trump may be beating war drums to scare Japan and Korea into forking over billions of dollars for weapons they do not need or want, he and his regime are clearly playing an extremely dangerous game. There are forces deep in the military who are perfectly willing to launch a catastrophic war if it increases their power, and who think that only such a crisis can distract the people from the criminal actions of the United States government, and draw attention from the looming catastrophe of climate change.

 

Emanuel Pastreich

“An Alternative role for the United States in East Asia”

 

Video Text:

Emanuel Pastreich (Director The Asia Institute)

November 8, 2017

“An Alternative role for the United States in East Asia”

Speech in response to Donald Trump’s speech at the National Assembly of Korea

I am an American who has worked for over twenty years with the Korean government, research institutes, universities, private industry and with ordinary citizens.

We have just heard the speech of Donald Trump the president of the United States, to the Korean National Assembly. President Trump laid out a dangerous and unsustainable vision for the United States, and for Korea and Japan, a path that runs towards war and towards massive social and economic conflict, both domestically and internationally. The vision he offers is a frightening combination of isolation and militarism, and it will encourage in other nations ruthless power politics without any concern for future generations.

Before the US-Korea Security Treaty, there was the United Nations Charter, signed by the United States, Russia and China. The United Nations charter defined the role of the United States, China, Russia and other nations as the prevention of war, and an active effort to address the terrible economic inequity that leads to wars. Security must start there, with that vision for peace and for cooperation. We need today the idealism of United Nations Charter, that vision for global peace after the horrors of the Second World War.

Donald Trump does not represent the United States, but rather a tiny group of the superrich and members of the far right. But those elements have increased their control of my country’s government to a dangerous level, in part because of the passivity of so many citizens.

But I believe that we, the people, can take back control of the dialog on security, on economics and on society. If we have creativity, and bravery, we can put forth a different vision for an inspiring future is possible.

Let us start with the issue of security. Koreans have been bombarded with reports about a nuclear attack from North Korea. This threat has been a justification for THAAD, for nuclear-powered submarines and any number of other expensive weapons systems that generate wealth for a small number of people. But do these weapons bring security? Security comes from vision, for cooperation, and from courageous action. Security cannot be purchased. No weapons system will guarantee security.

Sadly, the United States has refused to engage North Korea diplomatically for years and American passivity and arrogance has led us to this dangerous situation. The situation is even worse now because the Trump administration no longer practices diplomacy. The State Department has been stripped of all authority and most nations do not know where to turn if they want to engage the United States. The building of walls, seen and unseen, between the United States and the world is our greatest worry.

God did not give the United States a mandate to remain in Asia forever. It is not only possible, but desirable, for the United States to cut down its military presence in the region and to reduce its nuclear weapons, and conventional forces, as a first step towards creating a positive cycle that will improve relations with North Korea, China and Russia.

North Korea’s testing of missiles is not a violation of international law. Rather, the United Nations Security Council has been manipulated by powerful forces in the United States to support positions regarding North Korea that make no sense at all.

The first step towards peace starts with the United States. The United States, my country, must follow its obligations under the Non-proliferation Treaty, and begin again to destroy its nuclear weapons and to set a date in the near future for the total destruction of all remaining nuclear arms. The dangers of nuclear war, and of our secretive weapons programs, have been kept from Americans. If informed of the truth I am certain that Americans will overwhelmingly support the signing of the UN treaty to ban nuclear weapons.

There has been much careless talk about Korea and Japan developing nuclear weapons. Although such actions might provide a short-term thrill for some, they will not bring any form of security. China has kept its nuclear weapons under 300 and would be willing to reduce them further if the United States is committed to disarmament. But China can easily increase the number of nuclear weapons to 10,000 if threatened by Japan, or by South Korea. Advocacy for disarmament is the only action that can increase Korea’s security.

China must be an equal partner in any security framework for East Asia. If China, quickly emerging as the dominant global power, is left out of a security framework, that framework is guaranteed to be irrelevant. Moreover, Japan also must be included in any security framework. We must bring out the best of Japan’s culture, its expertise on climate change and its tradition of peace activism through such collaboration. The banner of collective security must not be used as a rallying call for ultranationalists dreaming of a “warrior Japan” but rather as a means of bringing out Japan’s best, its “better angels.” We cannot leave Japan to itself. Read more of this post

倡导“诺贝尔环境与经济奖”的陈敏豪教授

  • 陈敏豪

——诺贝尔环境与经济奖

1991年我在日本读研究生,在东京大学写我的硕士论文期间,我正好开始考虑回到美国去攻读东亚研究的博士学位。我对明代文学尤其感兴趣,因为它对18世纪的日本(我研究的专业方向)产生了诸多影响。在我寻找好的研究项目时,我被介绍到印第安纳大学,认识了研究明清历史的学者司徒琳教授。我原本认为我可能和她一起在美国研究。我给她写了信,了解到她这个夏天将留在上海复旦大学。于是我很快定了机票,并预定好和平饭店作为在上海的住处。那天晚上我的航班到达上海晚点了,当我到达酒店时我吃了一惊,因为发现几年前我住过的和平饭店已经完全变样了。不再是那个学生为了便宜而居住的破旧小旅店,而变成了相比两年前的价钱贵四倍的豪华酒店。一个我在东京大学时认识的中国朋友给我推荐了交通大学的陈敏豪教授,说在上海有困难可以找他帮忙。尽管我并不认识他,但我还是立即打电话向他询问意见。通话后陈教授立即到和平饭店来见我。他立即带我去了他的朋友那里,一个在上海音乐学院的教授,给我提供了一个非常舒适的房间,更重要的是,有一群热情的学生可以给我很好的照顾。虽然陈教授从没见过我而且也只是经一个他不太熟识的学生引荐的,但他一直到完全解决了我的困难才去休息,他的热情和细心周到让我感动。

陈教授是一个非常热情、善谈、总为他人着想的人。在当时他对我及我的工作表现出的兴趣,甚至让我感到有一点不舒服。为什么这个我不认识的人总是对我这么好?我开始担心是不是他想从我这得到什么。我猜想也许陈教授也在我身上发现了一些潜质?,发现了一些我没有意识到的东西。

我在复旦大学呆了一天,与中国文学系的教授老师们一起讨论问题,并见了司徒琳教授,但每天晚上陈教授都在照顾我,继续我们的谈话。他常带我去饭店吃饭,我总会觉得这太让他破费而感到不舒服。但似乎他觉得和我谈论时要尽可能的得到我的关注才是最重要的,我们讨论当今中国的文化和文学以及它的变化对日本及美国的影响。陈教授总是提出一些有关环境的问题,这些我当时并不太能理解其重要性。

陈教授是一个受过良好教育并有思想的人,但从不吝啬赞扬,所以这让他在我眼中显得不那么有深度。我只是不清楚他到底想从我这得到什么。之后,我终于知道了陈教授在想什么。他邀请我去了一个曾是银行家房子的饭店,问我是否可以帮他翻译一个他准备提交诺贝尔委员会的提案。陈教授在提案信中提议委员会应该将现在的“诺贝尔经济学奖”改为新的“环境与经济协调发展奖”。当然,我并不赞同他这个提议,我没有看出他们的相关性,而且十分怀疑诺贝尔委员会对这个提议接受的可能性。

但陈教授坚持让我尽快翻译出提案,我想如果我不帮他做他破费更多去赢得我的同意?。确实,当时有很多中国人找我帮忙,试图说服我帮他们将文章翻译成英文,而这个提案对于我似乎并不那么重要。那时,我的精力主要放在钻研18世纪的中日文化交流的细节上,我并没有理解为什么这个提案信对于陈教授如此重要。这件事看起来甚至毫无关联。但鉴于陈教授一直尽他所能让我在上海住得舒适,所以我最终同意阅读他的书并帮助把提案翻译成英文。

事实上,那是我最后一次去上海。由于很多原因,尽管从那之后我去过中国其它10个城市,但并没有机会再去上海。后来,我只和陈教授在电话里聊过几次。

当我开始在哈佛大学就读博士,他仍继续写信催我关于翻译的事。但我一直在拖延,毕竟我回到美国还有很多工作要做。我已经有五年多时间没有呆在美国,我也需要去学习如何用我自己的语言表达得更有效。在一定程度上,我失去了一些我的写作能力,并且我并不太了解美国关于东亚研究方面的信息。

但是陈教授总是写信过来问我研究的进程。最终,我抽出一些时间仔细读了他给诺贝尔奖委员会的提案,翻译过程很缓慢且费力,其中很多词语过于琐碎,主题内容也与当时我的研究领域相差甚远。在1993年春天,我终于完成翻译并给陈教授回了邮件。我其实有一点怀疑我的翻译质量,整篇信看起来似乎有点混乱,但我对于朋友尽到了责任。

他很快给我写了回信,热情洋溢地赞扬了我的翻译水平,说这对于他真的很重要。我再也没有见过陈教授,但感觉从那时开始,我和他走得更近了。我们开始相互写信,之后开始用邮件联系。他有时也会给我寄来一些他写的书和论文,我幻想过有一天我要再去上海,但那一天从没实现。

1995年,由于准备去韩国学习,我收到了陈教授的一个大包裹,里面包括他的书《生态:文化与文明前景》,我只是飞快地翻了几页便把书丢在书架上了。多年后,当我重新找出这本书并重温一遍后,我发现这是我读过的书中最具有深刻见解、先见之明的一本。

直到我收到书的10年后,也就是2005年的春天在华盛顿,我终于认识到这本书的重要意义。我在华盛顿参加各种有关外交安全的会议和研讨会,在华盛顿大学教书并为韩国大使馆文化中心工作,组织一些介绍韩国的活动。

2000年左右我开始写有关国际关系的文章,重点强调需要扩大我们对于“安全”这个概念的理解。但在2005年时,当我看到有关环境安全和国际关系的重要性缺乏讨论,我意识到这方面出现了重大错误。

然后,我突然想起陈教授的文章,我开始理解他文章的重要性,这是第一次我了解到为什么我帮他翻译的文章对他如此重要。我又重读了一遍他的文章,并思考他的写作意图。我终于意识到那个亘古不变的真理,我就像是寓言故事“无价宝珠”里的主人公,他有很多珠宝被缝在大衣的内衬里,而他却一直不知道。

现在轮到我奔走世界宣扬环境的重要性这一观点,像陈敏豪教授试图在中国做的一样开始在美国宣传。之后,我试着在华盛顿组织了一个交流讨论环境问题的系列活动,但收效甚微。我和乔治敦大学的大卫·斯坦伯格、威廉玛丽大学的拉里·威尔克森一起组织了一个非传统安全的会议,重点放在环境问题上。尽管有这些大量的努力,政府的资金却一直没有拨下来。

2007年我到韩国以后,我开始和大德?的研究组成员们一起研究科技与社会的有关问题。最终,我成为了“大田环境论坛”的共同创办人之一,这是一个将各个研究所的研究员们集合起来一起讨论如何将大田建设成环境友好城市的小组。我写的一篇呼吁将大田建设成亚洲典范的生态城的文章被广泛流传,我也继续在有关当今环境问题的领域工作,这成了我学术和个人生活的一部分。

在韩国我与陈教授通过几次电话,他很高兴能接到我的电话并且希望我能再去上海。他也提到到了他日益下降的健康状况,限制了他的行动。之后我便没有了他的消息。直到2010年我打给他电话才知道他已经去世了。

我又花了一些时间去研读他的书《生态:文化与文明前景》中传达的思想,意识到不仅我从陈教授那学到了许多,而且还有许多我仍需要去不断学习的。

我想作为一个从耶鲁和哈佛出来的人,我一直对陈教授有偏见,并不能很好的理解他的思想。陈教授是一个如此谦逊的人,1992年我见他的时候,他并不像常春藤学校的教授们那样穿着得体。我从来没想过他的思想会如此重要和有远见。陈教授呼吁我们重新修正我们对于生态危机给城市文明带来的影响的理念。在1992年,他的想法看起来并不实际,到了2010年,会有一个具体的生存计划方案。

这是从他的书中摘取的一段:

时代不同了。“国家安全”的内涵再也不仅仅是军事性质所能囊括与涵养的了。在这个问题上,不论人们承认与否,单一性的威胁实际上已经被多样性的威胁所取代。不受一切疆界限制的生态灾难和环境危机是一种普遍危及各国,各民族生存发展的非军事威胁;在传统国家安全观念基础上建立,壮大起来的各国军事力量(即使十分强大)在这种威胁面前也是无能为力的。[3]

陈老师去世后我有机会了解多一点他的背景。陈老师本是人类生态学者,任教于上海交通大学,同时也受聘为国务院发展研究中心上海发展研究所研究员及国际技术经济研究中心特约研究员。由于在不适當政治情况发言,1957年他被逐出学界,而且文化大革命期间他又倒霉了一年多。 此後陈老师有近30年的学术空白,但1985年他重新起步,致力主张生态文化的必要、继续向大家介绍人类生态学以及环境与经济协调发展方面的探索和研究。他的著述有《人类生态学:一种面向未来世界的文化》、《生态文化与文明前景》(此书获第十届中国图书奖)。其中尤以1992年就国际间污染输出问题、致联合国秘书长并转交世界环境与发展大会的公开信《天下一家:生态无国界》。1994年 陈老师建议调整诺贝尔奖的奖项设置和科学奖评奖条件等问题致诺贝尔委员会的公开信《造福人类是诺贝尔遗嘱的灵魂》。 这文章就是我帮助他翻译。引起人们普遍关注,一经脱稿就不胫而走,国内外媒体竞相报道或转载,在各国相关领域引起广泛反响。

“On Grief and Climate Change”

Stephen Jenkinson gives a profound talk about climate change that suggests something beyond self-hatred and self-deception.

 

I found it extremely useful.

 

I was also very frustrated by the manner in which Josh Fox suggests in his movie

 

How to Let Go of the World and Love All The Things Climate Can’t Change

 

that there is a philosophical way of finding something, some love, in underlying moral principles beneath the overwhelming present moment. But he does not ultimately present any that are convincing to me.

 

Jenkinson, however, makes some very thoughtful remarks, reminding us that at this stage the question is spiritual, not simply technical.

 

He makes quite a few striking statements. Here are a few

 

“not one organism needs humans”

 

 

The EArth has its own logic and order to it, and creatures will return to the Earth long after we are gone. We are but a passing phase and our greatest flaw is our assumption that somehow we are unique as creatures.

“the enemy of grief is hope”

 

Jenkinson suggests. like Clive Hamilton, that the idea of hope keeps us from being aware of the present and grieving for our experience in an honest manner.

 

“hope is inherently intolerant of the present. We must be hope-free”

 

 

 

 

다른 백년

“문제의 본질을 보지 못하는

한국인들에게 드리는 고언”

2017년 10월 31일

임마누엘 페스트라이쉬

 

 

파시즘적 성향을 가진 도널드 트럼프 대통령 방한 직전에 우연히 촛불집회 1주년이 지났다. 정치에는 여전히 수동성을 유지하고 있는 미국인들의 현실에 환멸을 느낀 필자는, 미국인의 한명으로서 1년 전 밤마다 광화문에 모여서 박근혜 대통령의 하야를 요구했던 열정적인 군중들에게서 깊은 감명을 받았다. 필자는 집회에 참석하기 위해 멀리서 온 고등학생들과 가졌던 토론을 생생하게 기억하고 있다. 수세기에 걸쳐 좋은 정부를 추구하며 헌신해왔던 한국인들로부터 영감을 받았다.

이제 1년이 지난 지금 한국인들은 우리 시대의 가장 심각한 문제에 대한 시민들의 인식 측면에서 정부의 투명성을 향한 가장 초보적 단계의 한 걸음을 내디뎠을 뿐임을 인정해야 한다. 우리는 박근혜와 측근들의 부패에 대해 초점을 맞추는 것이 기후변화 및 트럼프 행정부의 무모한 정책으로 인해 야기된 핵전쟁 위협 문제로부터 시민들의 관심과 주의를 분산시키는 수단으로 점점 더 많이 사용되고 있음을 인식해야 한다.

촛불집회의 내러티브 역시 박대통령과 소수 측근들의 부패에 모든 관심을 집중시켰고 보다 큰 문제인 한국 사회 전반에 걸친 제도적 부패로부터 사람들의 관심을 돌리는 역할을 했다. 이러한 제도적 부패는 대부분 미국을 추락시키고 있는 타락과 연결되어 있다. 그리고 한국사회에서 여기저기 미국식 군국주의 및 극단적 민영화도 보인다.

진보적대통령 셀카 찍으며 대중적 이미지 키우지만

중요한 정부 직책에 임명된 사려 깊은 이들이 있지만 동시에 우리에게는 도널드 트럼프의 인종차별적 발언에 대해 침묵한 채 학생과 셀카 사진을 찍으며 대중적인 이미지를 키우는 ‘진보적’ 대통령이 있다. 한국 대통령은 트럼프가 북한이 국제법에 위반되지 않는 행동과 미국이 수십 년 동안 자행해왔던 것과 같은 죄를 범했다는 구실로 유엔을 북한과의 핵전쟁을 위한 플랫폼으로 이용할 때 언급을 회피하고 있다. 바로 미국 대통령이 유엔에서 유엔 헌장을 위반하는 행위에 대하여 할 말이 없었다.

문 대통령의 인기를 살펴본다면 문제의 본질을 이해할 수 있을 것이다. 노무현 대통령이나 지미 카터 대통령의 경우 정부의 구조적인 부패에 대한 책임에 직면하게 되었고 상업 언론들이 사소한 모든 문제들을 샅샅이 들추어냄에 따라 인기가 급락했다. 그러나 문 대통령은 힘든 싸움을 피하고 가장 위험하고 중요한 문제는 그대로 둔 채 사소한 문제들로 정권 홍보를 한다. 이제 ‘진보’는 아디다스와 같은 브랜드가 되었으며 자신의 목숨을 걸고 추구할 소명이 아니다. Read more of this post

The breakdown of coherence in this moment of overwhelming change

I watched the movie Coherence (2013) tonight with tremendous interest. It relates the tale of four couples who find themselves in a cabin in the woods at the time that a comet passes nearby. The comet disrupts space-time, leading to the creation of multiple versions of each person. The different characters then mix with each other, creating tremendous chaos which only deepens with each moment of choice.

I think that the movie was effective because it was a good representation of the radical fragmentation that is taking place in our own society, and around the world, at the same time.

The results are a confusion about information, truth and falsehood. The results from the reproduction and manipulation of information. But not all of that is done by evil people, the shift is more fundamental.

But the confusion is also spiritual and it is also about identity. As things are reproduced so easily and images and words drop in value to be almost worthless, our own identity as humans is called into question. And that is not all. This confusion of replication is taking place precisely at the same time (by accident, or perhaps not) that technology is allowing us to reproduce ourselves and systems of supercomputers are essentially taking over the world.

Oddly, some still cling to this idea that we are looking at a new cold war, or a new world war, but what if it is a conflict between banks of supercomputers around the world, struggling with each other in obscure ways related to currency, current and identity.

We find ourselves in uncharted territory and if the question is what will happen to us, perhaps the most important question of all is: “what do you mean by ‘us?'”

 

Emanuel’s student ID from National Taiwan University

I studied at National Taiwan University 1985-1986 for my junior year abroad as an exchange student in the Department of Chinese. It was a turning point in my life. This is my student ID from that period. Not that only my Chinese name is featured and that I am a waijisheng 外籍生。

 

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