Category Archives: Uncategorized

March for Science in Seoul

I was there for the entire March for Science in Seoul last Saturday and had a chance to talk to a variety of teachers and students.



You can see me on the far right



The woman pushing the woman in the wheel chair is wearing one of the Asia Institute’s “Stop Climate change” pins. 

Back to the stone age

Emanuel Pastreich 

April 9, 2017 



Of course we may end up back in the stone age as a result of nuclear war. I certainly would not rule that out. but there is another possibility. Perhaps this final cycle in the evolution of technology will lead us back to the culture of the hunter-gathers. 


We are witnessing the 4th industrial revolution, a process by which the entire act of making tools is being automated and spread around the world. We are at risk of losing human control of the process of manufacturing itself as computers expand their capacity. The disruption such a change is making in our society is so immense that it is hard for us to grasp it.


If humans are no longer needed to manufacture, what will be left for us?


One can see the automation of production as the start of a post- modern world, but in a sense we are returning to the stone age. If we are left out of the cycle of manufacturing tools, then we are just like the hunter gatherers of prehistoric times, even if the world around us is radically different. Technology is no longer our possession. Perhaps we are possessed by technology, or perhaps not.

“청년들이 바라보는 헬조선 및 5.9선거” 2오후 아시아인스티튜트 017년 4월 17일

“청년들이 바라보는 헬조선 및 5.9선거”

2017년 4월 17일

오후 7:00-8:00



어울려사세 시민연단




아시아인스티튜트 소장




전상구  & 박경홍

경희대학교 국제대학 대학생

최근 청년들이 헬조선 이란 현상을 심각하게 우려 하고 있지만 많은 경우 직접 자기 의견을 말하고 해결 방법에 대한 제안을 할 기회도 없습니다. 그리고 자기 주장을 잘 할 방법도 모르는 경우 가 많습니다.   이번 세미나에는 청년의 목소리를 직접 듣고 자유로은 대화 할 수 있는 공간이 제공됩니다.


World Citizen’s Organization

어울려사세 시민연단

서울시 주구 장충동 1가 118 ( 동호로 240)
wco map

The real mistakes of socialism

Here is a short list of what I think were the major mistakes made in socialist approaches to addressing poor distribution of wealth and other contradictions


Lack of spiritual engagement, denial that human experience must have a spiritual depth and therefore only reinforcing a materialist perspective, even while trying to redistribute wealth (thus assuming basic values of capitalism)

1) Emphasis on monetary value. Assuming value can be converted into cash, into numbers

2) Embrace of an industrial society and assumption that the organization of the industrailized society is the best

3) Lack of recognition for, and approval of,  traditional ways of living and their wisdom.

4) Assuming the myth of modernity as an absolute break and a modern life is absolutely superior

5) Ignoring impact of industry or policy on the environment.

6) Ignoring the role of local government and of local village economies

7) Allowing for a centralization of the economic structures that made it easy for people to take over large units, privatize them and become billionaires overnight. The failure of socialism to build in guards against this abuse was a big mistake.

8) Lack of balance of powers between different parts of government to avoid concentration of power in one institution
9) Mistaken assumption that because markets are exploitative that there is no use for markets.

“Technology is a branch of moral philosophy, not of science”


Paul Goodman’s article in the New York Review of Books from 1969 “Can Technology Be Humane?” contains the famous line which has stuck with me for years:



“Whether or not it draws on new scientific research, technology is a branch of moral philosophy, not of science. It aims at prudent goods for the commonweal and to provide efficient means for these goods. At present, however, “scientific technology” occupies a bastard position in the universities, in funding, and in the public mind. It is half tied to the theoretical sciences and half treated as mere know-how for political and commercial purposes. It has no principles of its own.”

I would not say that I agree with Goodman’s rather harsh assessment., but I think he raises the most essential question of what exactly technology does.

My ideal room

I made this drawing for an ideal bedroom my first year of high school, 1979.




Short note from Noam Chomsky

March 12, 2017

Emanuel Pastreich:

Many youth feel trapped. They feel that they live in a system that puts them at a disadvantage and does little to help them. They feel misunderstood and they feel that there is an absolute gap between themselves and those who seem to be deciding how things are done, how society is run. Why do they feel that way?

Noam Chomsky:

Contemporary neoliberalism has created what some call a “precariat” – people living a precarious existence, on their own, cast in a hostile market system with little solidarity, mutual support, stability and security.


Emanuel Pastreich, Benjamin Butler & Kim Haesun to speak at Asia Pacific Financial Forum


The Emerging Future Institute will play a substantial role at the Asia Pacific Financial Forum at the Plaza Hotel, March 23-25 with its founder Benjamin Butler, Kim Haesun, President of SunTransGlobe and researcher at Emerging Future Institute, and Emanuel Pastreich, director of the Asia Institute and researcher at the Emerging Future Institute, speaking.


March 22, 2017


Trade conflicts & the new isolationism age  무역충돌과 신고립주의 시대 (통상)


Emanuel Pastreich

10:00-10:30 AM

“The Challenge of the Trump Era: Opportunities and Challenges”

For more information, see

제10회 아시아태평양금융포럼

존F 케네디 대통령은 언론의 역할 에 대 하여 한말



존F 케네디 대통령의 1961년 4월27일 기자회견 장소 뉴욕 월도프 아스토리얼 호텔



논쟁이나 비판없이는 어떤 행정부, 어떤 나라도 성공할 수 없고, 어떤 공화국도 살아 남을 수 없다. 아테네 법조인 솔론이 어떤 시민에게든 논쟁을 제한하는 것을 범죄로 보는 법령을 공포한 이유다. 그래서 우리 언론이 수정 헌법 제 1 조(헌법에 의해 특별히 보호받는 미국 내 유일한 비즈니스)에 따라 보호 받는 본질적인 이유는 사소하고 감성적인 것을 강조하거나 단순히 즐겁고 웃기게 해주거나 그저 “필요한 것을 대중에게 주기” 위해서가 아니다. 헌법이 언론을 보호하는 이유는 언론이 사실이나 진실을 알리고, 깨우쳐 주며, 진실을 잘 반영하고, 위험과 기회를 분명히 기술하고, 위기와 선택을 지적해주고, 여론을 선도하고 조성하며, 때로는 분노 여론을 만들기 때문이다. 이는 해외뉴스가 더 이상 먼 나라 얘기가 아니라 자기 주변 지역과 밀접하기 때문에 뉴스의 범위를 넓히고 심층 분석해야 함을 의미한다. 또 뉴스를 잘 전달하는 것 못지 않게 뉴스의 가독성을 높이는 것에 더 많은 주의를 기울여야 함을 의미한다. 결국 무릇 정부는 대외적으로 국가안보에 미칠 수 있는 최소한의 영향을 제외하고는 가능한 한 모든 정보를 국민에게 제공할 의무를 부여 받아야 한다는 점을 의미하는 것이다.

“Manifesto to the Europeans” and a call for sanity at the outbreak of the First World War

Wilhelm Foerster, Georg Friedrich Nicolai, Otto Buek and Albert Einstein signed a “Manifesto to the Europeans” at the start of World War I in which they took issue with the drive for military solutions promoted in Germany at the time. They were responding to the so-called “Manifesto of the Ninety-Three” issued by prominent German intellectuals giving their full support for Germany’s war aims. These four men were the only ones who dared to sign the document.

Its content seems most relevant in our own age.


“Manifesto to the Europeans”

October 1914


While technology and traffic clearly drive us toward a factual recognition of international relations, and thus toward a common world civilization, it is also true that no war has ever so intensively interrupted the cultural communalism of cooperative work as this present war does.  Perhaps we have come to such a salient awareness only on account of the numerous erstwhile common bonds, whose interruption we now sense so painfully.

Even if this state of affairs should not surprise us, those whose heart is in the least concerned about common world civilization, would have a doubled obligation to fight for the upholding of those principles. Those, however, of whom one should expect such convictions — that is, principally scientists and artists — have thus far almost exclusively uttered statements which would suggest that their desire for the maintenance of these relations has evaporated concurrently with the interruption of relations. They have spoken with explainable martial spirit — but spoken least of all of peace.

Such a mood cannot be excused by any national passion; it is unworthy of all that which the world has to date understood by the name of culture. Should this mood achieve a certain universality among the educated, this would be a disaster. It would not only be a disaster for civilization, but — and we are firmly convinced of this — a disaster for the national survival of individual states — the very cause for which, ultimately, all this barbarity has been unleashed.

Through technology the world has become smaller; the states of the large peninsula of Europe appear today as close to each other as the cities of each small Mediterranean peninsula appeared in ancient times. In the needs and experiences of every individual, based on his awareness of manifold of relations, Europe — one could almost say the world — already outlines itself as an element of unity.

It would consequently be a duty of the educated and well-meaning Europeans to at least make the attempt to prevent Europe — on account of its deficient organization as a whole — from suffering the same tragic fate as ancient Greece once did. Should Europe too gradually exhaust itself and thus perish from fratricidal war? Read more of this post