Monthly Archives: February 2016

Book about Bernie Sanders at Kyobo

At this late date a book with Bernie Sanders on the cover has at last showed up at Kyobo Books. I think it will be a few more months, but, eventually, we will see the populist culture of Sanders and Trump flow into Korea. sanders in seoul

“No to coal!” button (February 29, 2016)

I recently asked a friend to design a button for me to protest the increased use of cheap coal with a high sulfur content in Korea. The air in Korea is growing worse rapidly in Korea the last few years, and the primary reason is the complete lack of regulation of emissions. What is most disturbing to me is the complete lack of concern on the part of Koreans who have to breath the air every day here.

I made a “No to Coal! Killing us slowly” pin recently and had a friend do the final design. I have worn it on almost all my jackets. But many Koreans do not seem to understand what it refers to.

I am happy to give one to anyone who is interested.

And please do start to make an effort to reduce the carbon in the air and the micro-particles as well.



Interview: Dennis Choi of the Brain Science Institute (Arirang)

Arirang TV

G Lounge

Interview with Dennis Choi

Director of the Brain Science Institute

KIST (Korea Institute of Science and Technology


February 22, 2016


Emanuel Pastreich interviews Dennis Choi, a leading neurologist and the director of the Brain Science Institute at KIST (Korea Institute of Science and Technology). The interview covers new treatments of neurological diseases and the implications of breakthroughs in brain sciences for the development of computers.




“ ‘Tokyo As a Leader for Peace, for Human Rights, and for the Environment’: Interview With Hattori Ryoichi, the Internationalist Japanese Progressive”

The Huffington Post

“ ‘Tokyo As a Leader for Peace, for Human Rights, and for the Environment’: Interview With Hattori Ryoichi, the Internationalist Japanese Progressive”

February 23,2016


Emanuel Pastreich



One of the most articulate defenders of workers’ rights in a conservative age, Hattori Ryoichi has served as a meaningful democratic alternative in Japan. Hattori served in the Japanese House of Representatives as a representative for Osaka’s third district (elected in 2009). He currently serves as director of international relations for the Social Democratic Party (Shaminto).

Hattori has engaged in a wide range of actions to defend Japan’s constitutional commitment to peace and opposes sending the self -defense forces overseas.

A close friend of former prime minister Hatoyama Yukio, Hattori has thrown himself into promoting close exchanges with the other nations of Asia, especially Korea and China. He has led delegations of Japanese politicians and NGO members to Korea and China to promote a broader dialog. Hattori is an outspoken advocate for a full accounting for Japanese crimes during the colonial period, seeking proper compensation for all victims of Japanese imperialism, not just for Japanese citizens.

Hattori fought for the removal of the Futenma U.S. Marine base in Okinawa and he opposes the construction of a new base at Henoko. He has argued for the revision of the US-Japan agreement on bases, and for compensation for the victims of accidents and U.S. military wrongdoing related to the bases.

Hattori attended Kyoto University in the 1960s but had no particular commitment to social justice. He saw the efforts of Chinese students to change society when he visited China in 1969 and decided that he had a duty to do his best for society. He left college his sophomore year to work with underpaid laborers and never looked back.

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Republic of Facebook & Emanuel Pastreich’s candidacy

“Global Youth Leadership Workshop for the Sustainable Earth” in Jeju

It was a great honor to address the students from China, Japan and Korea who gathered in Jeju for the “Global Youth Leadership Workshop for the Sustainable Earth” on Sunday (February 21).The strong desire to do something substantial was touching. There is still hope in this world. They are preparing a set of concrete proposals which I hope to see soon.

Students from China, Korea and Japan.

Students from China, Korea and Japan.





Saturday, March 12, 6-8 PM


The drive for confrontation between North and South Korea, and beyond that, between the United States and China, has reached a dangerous level. It is time for ordinary citizens to come together and raise our voices in favor of true and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula and throughout East Asia. We must create a movement across South Korea, across the Korean Peninsula and throughout East Asia and the world to wage peace.

Join us for the launch of the Korea Peace Movement, headed by Dr. Lakhvinder Singh and supported by the Asia Institute. We will meet for a serious discussion about what actions we have to take and to draft a concrete plan. Everyone will leave the event with a clear mission and a clear role

This is a historic meeting and perhaps our last chance to avoid the terrible danger of confrontation in Northeast Asia.





WCO Anguk


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“Climate Change and the Future of Security” @ Graduate Institute of Peace Studies

Kyung Hee University Graduate Institute of Peace Studies

(Gwangneung Campus)



Emanuel Pastreich


“Climate Change and the Future of Security”


What are the long-term implications of climate change for the concept of security? Although the military discusses the impact of climate change on combat and the role that climate change plays in increasing conflicts, few have gone as far as to say that the mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change should be the primary role for the military. Read more of this post

“Announcing My Candidacy for President of Facebook” (Huffington Post February 20, 2016)

Huffington Post

“Announcing My Candidacy for President of Facebook”

February 20, 2016


Emanuel Pastreich



Dear Citizens of Facebook:

Facebook is much more than Mark Zuckerberg’s server farms and his army of coders. Facebook is the most effective means today for people to communicate with each other and to form networks for collaboration beyond national borders. Facebook is an unprecedented international network of people who could make a tremendous contribution to solving the challenges of our age, if permitted. The time has come for us to declare our independence from the empire that controls us.

The Internet is often conceptualized as a series of separate layers that range from Layer 1, the physical connections of wires and cables that support our communications, to Layer 7, which is the operation of applications over the Internet. But the global community of Facebook is at a higher level than Layer 7, the Facebook web application, forming a Layer 8 which is cultural, social, and political in nature and is only tangentially related to the seven layers below. Read more of this post

“The future of Korea’s exports” (JoongAng Daily February 19, 2016)

JoongAng Daily

“The future of Korea’s exports”

February 19, 2016


Emanuel Pastreich


The record dip in Korea’s exports in January, down 18.5 percent, has sent shivers down the spines of Koreans whose custom it is to measure economic development in terms of trade. The challenge is serious; but will the solution be investing more to promote what Koreans manufacture, or rather, will it be making a fundamental shift in the country’s strategy?

The exponential advancement of technology is changing the world so quickly we can barely keep up. I recently sat on the panel at the seminar “The Future of the Republic of Korea” and heard Global Future Studies Association Chairman Lee Nam-sik remark: “Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no automobiles; Facebook, the world’s greatest media source, creates no content; and Alibaba, the strongest retailer, has no inventory.”

His comment on the paradoxical nature of an information-driven economy came together in my head with the news of Korea’s drop in trade. Would it be possible for Korea in the future to become the biggest trading nation in the world and not export any products?

At the lowest level, the increase in Korean manufacturing in China, Vietnam and elsewhere suggests that this transition is already taking place. Korean companies take advantage of their strengths in finance, marketing and scale of production to create a global manufacturing system. But that trend has had clear negatives for ordinary Koreans who have seen good jobs vanish either because factories have gone abroad or because they have been more completely automated.

What is Korea good at? It is not a particular technology that only Koreans have, but rather the ability of Koreans to build complex integrated systems for the planning of industrial development, design, manufacturing, marketing and sales. In the past, Koreans moved fast to seize opportunities without losing sight of their long-term goals to be successful in shipbuilding, automaking, smartphones and household appliances.

The Korean ability to integrate technologies so as to produce a solution to a complex problem is something that itself can be exported as a package.

Let me give an example. One of the largest emerging markets in the world over the next 15 years will be the conversion of sprawling cities focused on heavy manufacturing, which were constructed using Western-style automobile-centric city planning, into sustainable eco-cities. There are hundreds of these cities in India, China and elsewhere in the developing world that will become uninhabitable in the near future because of pollution and other sustainability issues. They will all have to be completely rebuilt as sustainable cities that can support millions of residents.

The market for such projects will be immense, and Korea could be the country that will do the work because Korea is making the same transition. But this work will be a fundamentally different kind of business than the standard export-based growth that many are accustomed to.

First, Korea should rapidly convert all its major cities into the most advanced eco-cities in the world, using Korean technologies to meet its needs and using its strengths in the adoption and implementation. The creation of cities that are truly sustainable is not a matter of obtaining cutting-edge technology, but rather of integrating technology with institutional innovation.

Moreover, the project has much to do with culture: creating a new cultural paradigm that appeals to young people. The eco-city includes the development of new online communities and networks for collaboration – another strong-point for Koreans.

The product is Korea itself.

We must move beyond the terrible irony of Korea producing solar cells for export but not using them domestically. Read more of this post