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“경계해야 할 ‘통일대학론’ “

경향신문

“경계해야 할 ‘통일대박론’ ”

2019년 7월 29일

임마누엘  페스트라이쉬

2014년 1월 박근혜 당시 대통령이 새해 기자회견에서 ‘통일대박론’을 처음 주창했다. 남과 북이 통일되면 한국이 경제적으로 엄청난 이익을 얻을 수 있다는 논리일 텐데 통일대박론의 맹위는 정권이 바뀐 지금에도 여전하다. 그러나 ‘대박’이란 단어가 함유하고 있는 역사적 배경 중에는 한국인들이 잊어버린 게 하나 있다.

1930년대 만주국 개발론자들이 즐겨 쓰던 ‘보로모케(떼돈벌이·ぼろ儲け)’란 단어가 있다. 당시 일제는 괴뢰 만주국과 조선을 통일하려 했는데 그때 조선인들에게 만주 개발을 홍보하며 썼던 단어가 ‘보로모케’, 즉 대박이다. 조선총독부가 ‘조만일여’론을 주창하며 조선 자본가들에게 만주의 석탄자원 등의 채굴에 참여하고 철도와 기타 부동산, 공장 등에 투자해 ‘대박’나라고 홍보했다. 신문 광고에는 ‘일확천금’이란 단어가 자주 등장했고 이광수 같은 작가도 열심히 선전에 참여했다.

당시 만주 개발론자들에게 만주와 조선의 평범한 민중들을 위한 풍요로운 공동체 건설 따위의 철학은 없었다. 만주군 군관학교를 다녔던 박정희도 마찬가지였다. <대일본 만주국의 유산>(고단샤, 2010)이라는 책에 관련 일화가 나온다. 기시 노부스케는 1936년 만주국 정부 산업부 차관이었다. 박정희는 이후 일본 총리가 된 기시를 1961년 11월에 만났다. 기시는 박정희 당시 대통령과의 대화에서 ‘만주 개발 5개년 계획’이 실제로 잘 안됐던 것을 언급했고 박 대통령은 만주국에서 못해낸 경제발전론을 한국에서 이어받겠다고 강조했다. 이후 강남 개발로 땅부자들이 생겨났지만 그곳에 원래 살던 진짜 땅주인들은 뿔뿔이 흩어져야 했다.

1930년대 만주 개발의 수혜는 누가 다 가져갔을까? 만주의 평범한 농민들이 만주 개발로 부자가 됐을까? 결국 부자가 된 건 조선과 일본의 자본가들이었다. 만주 주민들의 균등한 삶의 질 향상은 없었다.

‘조선·만주를 통일하고 만주의 자원을 개발해 경제대박을 내자’는 만주 개발론을 보고 따랐던 박정희의 딸인 박근혜 전 대통령이 용어까지 비슷한 ‘통일대박론’을 들고나왔다. 통일을 경제발전의 논리로 국한시키는 그 철학에도 놀랐지만, 아버지 때의 만주 개발 선전용어였던 ‘대박’이란 단어를 비슷하게 따온 것에서도 놀랐다. 그러나 한국인들은 이 대박이라는 단어의 역사적 맥락을 잊어버린 것 같다.

만주와 조선을 통일하고 만주의 자원을 수탈해 부자가 되려 했던 일본과 조선의 자본가들이 즐겨 사용한 ‘대박’이란 단어를 남한 사람들이 사용한다는 것은 북한 민중의 심기를 거스를 수 있다. 남한 자본가들이 자신들을 수탈하려 한다고 오해할 수 있다. 나는 ‘한·몽 평화협력 회의’ 참석차 몽골을 방문한 적이 있다. 그런데 실제 논의가 된 것은 남한 자본이 어떻게 몽골 자원을 개발해 공장을 만드느냐 따위들이어서 크게 실망했다. 한국인들은 몽골이라는 대박을 터뜨리는 데만 관심을 두는 것 같았다. 지금 북한을 바라보는 남한 사람들의 태도도 이와 비슷해 보인다.

문재인 정부도 노골적으로 ‘대박’이라는 단어만 쓰지 않을 뿐 통일에 대한 기본 철학은 박근혜 정부와 큰 차이가 없어 보인다. 남북정상회담 때 동행한 기업인들의 면면만 봐도 그렇다. 자본의 이익 창출 논리대로만 움직이며 사는 대기업 총수들이 문 대통령과 함께 북한을 방문했다.

북한까지 남한식으로 개발해서는 안된다. 남한에 여러 사회문제를 일으킨 경제개발 방식을 그대로 북한에 적용하겠다는 게 남한 자본가들과 그들에게 둘러싸인 문재인 정부의 인식이다. 북한도 남한처럼 대형마트가 골목상권을 다 장악해서 평범한 사람들이 망하는 식으로 개발되는 게 그게 한민족의 미래인가?

The Korean Fiction section at Kyobo Bookstore

Extinction Rebellion Korea protest, June 16, 2019

Sunday, June 16 2019 was a broiling hot day, more like August of a few years ago. But there was not much going on related to climate change, or the catastrophe that the Korean Peninsula is facing according to scientists, as we protested for Extinction Rebellion in Gwanghwamun Square.

There was a big meditation festival taking place, and also an educational program for children that allowed them to engage in various games. Our protest had a turnout of three people: myself (Emanuel) and the loyal group from Bucheon 부천, Mr Yu Jin-saeng and Ms. Choi Seohyeon 최서현. We spent two hours giving out our materials about climate change to interested people, giving our stickers away, talking with those who took the time to talk to us and introducing our climate change education program planned for July 4-5 in Bucheon.

It was a very meaningful afternoon, but I must say I was a bit shocked at how many people refused to take any material from us, and how few actually stopped to engage us in conversation and try to learn more. It seemed almost as if the topic of climate change has become a taboo, an illegal subject, in Korea. Certainly serious analysis about the seriousness of the current threat is banned from the mainstream media.

We plan to have another protest next week. Sunday, June 23 3-5 PM at the statue of King Sejong, Gwanghwamun, Seoul.

“미국 정치 누가 움직이는가 글로벌화, 반세계화, 사이코 민주주의”

“미국 정치 누가 움직이는가

글로벌화, 반세계화, 사이코 민주주의”

임마누엘 페스트라이쉬

안변진 (경희대 미래문명원)

2019년 6월 20일 4-6 PM

장소: 민주인권기념관 7층

서울특별시 용산구 한강대로71길 37

02 6918-0104 dhrm.or.kr

(한국민주주의연구소 & 민주화운동기념사업회)

Sixth protest against climate change in Gwanghwamun Today (June 2, 2019)

This afternoon, three of us gathered to protest against climate change in Gwanghwamun Square. It was an extremely hot day, indicative of the climate crisis, but we it was hard to get people to stop and listen. I think there was some progress made because of our use of a handout. Next time, we will have a proper teach-in for those who are interested. Do join us.

“한국인만 몰랐던 더 큰 통일” 이만열 인터뷰 (통일부 UNITV)

“한국인만 몰랐던 더 큰 통일”

[광화문 필통] 30화

2019년 5월 28일

(통일부 UNITV)

“America’s Clash of Civilizations Runs Up Against China’s Dialogue of Civilizations” Foreign Policy in Focus

Foreign Policy in Focus

“America’s Clash of Civilizations Runs Up Against China’s Dialogue of Civilizations”

May 28, 2019

Emanuel Pastreich

When asked about relations with China, policy planning head of the U.S. State Department Kiron Skinner declared that the United States is in a “fight” with a “different civilization.” She then added, “It’s the first time that we will have a great power competitor that is not Caucasian.”

That line was no slip of the tongue, and it has the fingerprints of Steve Bannon’s racial essentialism all over it. Skinner was not simply hearkening back to the Cold War and to the geopolitical struggles of the 1950s, as terrifying as that prospect might be given the vastly improved technologies for destroying life. Her reference to a fight with a “not Caucasian” civilization hearkened back to the “Yellow Peril” fear mongering that swept through the United States in the nineteenth century. That drive to posit Asians as a cultural threat led to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 that made immigration from China illegal (and greatly limited immigration from East Asia).

Skinner went on to suggest that because China is a fundamentally alien civilization, arguments for human rights that worked when the United States confronted the Soviet Union are now “not really possible with China.” Skinner’s comments echoed Senator Albert Beveridge’s infamous speech to the Senate in 1901:

We will not renounce our part in the mission of our race, trustee under God, of the civilization of the world…China is our natural customer. The Philippines give us a base at the door of the East…it has been charged that our conduct of the (Spanish American War) has been cruel. Senators, it has been the reverse. Senators, remember that we are not dealing with Americans or Europeans. We are dealing with Orientals.

The warning that Skinner and Bannon are offering to Americans has nothing to do with the principles of free trade, or even of democracy and the rule of law, but rather is of a threat from an incurably alien value system.

The speech delivered by China’s President Xi Jinping at the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations in Beijing on May 14 was intended as a clear response to Skinner’s remarks (and similar comments by Steve Bannon).

Xi avoided condemning the United States directly, suggesting rather that China, and all citizens of the Earth, should maintain a mind that is “able to take in the waters of a hundred rivers like the ocean.” Xi used the phrase “exchange and mutual learning between civilizations” to describe the process by which humanity advances, suggesting a universality in human experience that goes beyond a Western, post-enlightenment system of values and methods. He markedly refused to assign any developmental hierarchy to civilizations.

How deep a shift Xi’s words imply was not clear, but the repeated use of the term “equal dialogue” suggested that, whether it is neckties and hamburgers, economic growth calculations and Freudian psychology, the absolute authority of a single civilization needs to be replaced by an ongoing dialogue. The speech was grandiose filler, but offered a serious critique of the Eurocentric cultural order.

Xi traced Asian civilization back to the peoples who arose along the Tigris River in Mesopotamia, the Indus Rivers in India, and the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers in China. He named achievements in architecture, in painting and in philosophy, referring to masterpieces of literature like the Japanese novel The Tale of Genji, the ancient Indian poem collection The Rigveda, and the Arabic collection of short stories One Thousand and One Nights.

Xi proposed three conditions necessary for Asia to play a central role in the dialogue of civilizations and four principles that support his imagined “Community of Common Destiny” for the Earth.

The three conditions for dialogue in Asia are that Asians anticipate a peaceful and stable Asia, they prepare for an Asia of mutual prosperity, and they prepare for a financially open Asia.

The four principles for future cooperation are 1) maintain mutual respect and treat each other as equals; 2) recognize that there is perfection in all civilizations and that they can coexist; 3) uphold an open and accepting environment for reciprocal learning; 4) continue to progress through innovation in accord with the changing times,.

Whereas the Trump administration takes its inspiration from Samuel Huntington’s reactionary “clash of civilizations” and nineteenth-century xenophobic writings, the tradition of a dialogue of civilizations that Xi describes can be traced back to Leo Tolstoy. We can find precedents in the UNESCO intercultural dialogue of 1974 and Kofi Annan’s declaration of 2001 as the UN Year of Dialogue Among Civilizations. The Alliance of Civilizations launched by Turkey and Spain in 2005 promotes a similar vision.

Xi spoke of Chinese culture in terms of a series of exchanges with other civilizations throughout history: with Buddhism from India and Nepal, with Islam, and with European culture in the modern period. He mentioned Marxism as a part of the impact of European civilization, but otherwise the speech avoided the term socialism (although there were a few hints of Mao Zedong’s essay “On Contradictions” in his arguments).

I have attended many events in China that presented Chinese culture as the pinnacle of human achievement and emphasized a hierarchy of status among countries. I have worried about the disappearance of newspapers and books from Chinese society and the growth in its big cities of a voracious consumer society, about the treatment of Chinese workers in factories and the increasing power of the central government, all of which are global trends as well.

Nevertheless, the intellectual complexity of the speeches at the Dialogue of Civilizations, the open call for an internationalist perspective (as opposed to a globalist one), and the presumption that all civilizations are fundamentally equal provided a compelling alternative to the “clash of civilizations” rhetoric that is quickly degenerating into thoughtless xenophobia in the United States. The speeches I heard in Beijing reminded me of the intellectual complexity once found in the speeches of American politicians like Franklin Roosevelt and Adlai Stephenson. When it comes to a philosophy that can save the world, the old adage of ex oriente lux (the light comes from the East) seems to once again apply.

「人間の条件」

「人間の条件」

むかしはなかったですが、いま日本のもっとも素晴らしい映画、「人間の条件」が全部インタネットでみられます。現在の経済、文化の矛盾とはあまりにも類似しています。ただしいまのところはその創造力と勇気をもって映画を作る人は少なくなりました。

『人間の條件』  五味川純平 の小説をもとにして作った映画 ( 小林正樹 監督)

Greta Thunberg on the cover of Time Magazine

I must say that I was disturbed by the article about Greta Thunberg in Time Magazine. There was no analysis of why monied interests want us to be addicted to petroleum and how they force fossil fuels, and plastic, on us. No discussion about how we are compelled by forces who make immense profits to consume and how cities are designed by those who are paid by corporations in such a way that we must use automobiles.
The school strikes are a great idea, but they are not strikes that demand that the schools become 100% renewable, or that students and their parents have a say in policy. The basic assumption in the thinking is that we will argue the truth to politicians and they will see the light and change their policies.
But this demand promotes a fundamental misreading of politics.
The problem is not that politicians are ignorant or short-sighted. But rather we have a system in which corporate money is what determines policy decisions. Politicians are not the cause of the problem at all.
If you want to change things, Greta, you would be better off launching boycotts of products, creating a movement of students who refuse to eat or touch anything that has anything to do with petroleum. That sort of a campaign would start to hurt for multinational corporations and if it was global, the losses would be massive. But then, Greta, if you did that, you would not be appearing in Time Magazine anymore. In fact, you would not appear in any magazine until you and your student allies created your own magazine. Which, by the way, is exactly what you should do.

http://time.com/collection-post/5584902/greta-thunberg-next-generation-leaders/

Bolton the Destroyer

There have been psychos like John Bolton around in politics for centuries. But such people do not rise to the top, unless the entire political system is so completely rotten, and the ideology that underpins governance so absolutely debased, that there is no one who can resist the ideologue. Bolton is like a maggot at home in a rotting carcass. Or perhaps he is Shiva the Destroyer, appointed to do his duty and tear down the whole thing.