Thursday, September 27, 2007

What's "Juche" in English?

KM Lawson at Frog in a Well, looking at a piece in the Chosun Ilbo by New Right intellectual Shin Ji-ho, notes
how easily the “New Right” can expose the hypocrisy and backwardness of the nationalism of Korea’s mainstream left, and champion, with apparent ease, the forces of tolerance, international cooperation, and cosmopolitan identities.
"English" obviously plays the leading role in the construction of "cosmopolitan" identities, and the NL Left wants nothing to do with it. (Never mind that "English" could help the movement make connections with communities of resistance elsewhere.) It's only response is to attack "English" in all its manifestations: the hagwons, the publishers, the foreigners who teach it.

This is a mistake, this refusal to engage with the discourses surrounding "English." People have invested enormous resources, financial and emotional, into Englishes. Desire, even when it is "manufactured," will not be challenged by denial, the absence of challenge.

NL intellectuals in the DLP need some new ideas, desperately. I think this is what 47% of the membership was in part telling them.

Friday, September 14, 2007


Education International sent quite a fierce letter to Roh this week, recommending that school management be more transparent, that the government lift limitations to collective bargaining, and that teachers be allowed to speak freely during election campaigns.

Meanwhile, the Heritage Foundation recommends that the U.S. should:
Begin efforts to reach out to and win over the post-386 generation of South Korean voters who are more amenable to U.S. interests. Although not a yet a strong political power, this generation is a long-term "potential client" for the U.S.
Isn't it nice when folks make an effort to reach out?