Thursday, February 26, 2015
Sincere Devotion to Truth Is More Important than Approval from Officialdom.
For many centuries Korean civilization has venerated learning, truth, and wisdom. Its cultured was centered around the Confucian literati who were devoted to writing, recording, and reflection. It has a long history in the training in ethics and appreciation of good governance and deeds. So, why did Korean society for most of its existence remain so static, corrupt, infantile, ridiculous, closed-minded, small-minded, petty & petulant, and stultifying?
It was because, despite the professed concern for truth and integrity, Korean civilization was more about status, privilege, and approval. Because gaining status and winning approval permeated every crevice of Korean society, even those who were ostensibly committed to truth and learning were mainly interested in doing the correct thing — than the right thing — in order to gain position and privilege. To an extent, there was nothing exceptional about this problem among Koreans. Most cultures and societies were held back by same or similar problems: the preference for status and approval over truth and integrity. And this is true not only of modern Korea but modern society in general. We all make compromises on a daily basis to get along. And in some ways, such mode of behavior is necessary because if everyone insisted on his or her truth, we would all be bickering endlessly as everyone has his or her own vision/sense of truth. Especially in business and politics(in a democratic society), we can’t have everything we want. Indeed, extreme individualism leads to a kind of totalitarian mind-set. It is a way of saying, "I am so right that the entire world must do as I say." This is the central problem of Ayn Rand’s philosophy. She was for the freedom of the great individual, but it implied that some individuals are so great that their truths should prevail over everyone else who is just a little ant.
Though we all need to compromise, there are times when we must say NO. There are times when we must insist that our truth is better than the official truth. Without such integrity and will, there cannot be men like Galileo and Copernicus. If the whole point of life is to just go along and seek status/approval, then there is no need for anyone to think outside the box or do anything that goes against the grain. The prevailing social norms may have value in providing stability and continuity, but they could also harbor falsehoods, dogmas, and superstitions that serve as taboos against those seeking the higher or deeper truth. While it’s often the case that 99 people are right and 1 person is wrong, there are cases when 1 person is right and 99 people are wrong. And it is sometimes the honest truth-teller who, despite being vastly outnumbered, is willing to notice and speak the truth. Consider the main character of Henrik Ibsens’ THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE who insists on his truth against the pressures of the community.
While all of education and social elevation involve some degree of conformism and approval-seeking for status and privilege, the core meaning of education, learning, and expression is to absorb what is true and convey what is meaningful. And each person must decide on his own as to the nature of what is true and untrue, what is beautiful and what is ugly, what is meaningful and what is meaningless. And this devotion to truth cannot be learned overnight. Rather, it must be inculcated in the young whose minds shouldn’t only be fed with information but encouraged to think freely, ask questions, ponder problems, consider contradictions, and posit speculations. Students mustn’t only have their minds crammed with officially approved knowledge but be encouraged to process what is taught to them in their own individual and idiosyncratic ways. Otherwise, one isn’t learning to arrive at the higher/deeper truth but merely gaining the ‘right’ kind of knowledge to gain approval of the elites and to enter the corridors of privilege. This was why Korean tradition of scholarship failed to yield great thinkers, philosophers, and writers comparable to the extraordinary individuals of greater civilizations. Not only was Korea overly slavish to the cultural concepts and ideals of China but Korean scholar-students overly focused on learning the ‘right’ kind of knowledge to gain status and privilege. The main emphasis was on gaining status for family honor and personal ego than on discovering the higher/deeper truth.
This is a problem in all societies of course. Even in the West, many students soon learn the lesson that certain kinds of knowledge are approved while other kinds of knowledge are not. So, if you want to gain positions in college, government, and business, you have to learn to say the ‘right’ kinds of things. America is certainly a far less free nation than decades ago in terms of intellectual discourse and tolerance of ‘disapproved’ opinions. Politically Correct Jewish Liberals and homosexual elites have a lock on most powerful institutions that decide on what does and doesn’t constitute the Official Truth.
Because centuries of Korean history created a culture of mindless obedience, conformism, status-worship, and approval-seeking, both Korea and Korean-America have produced educated elites that care more about status and privilege than about truth and integrity. North Korea is, of course, a total slave state. But even South Korea, though a ‘liberal democracy’, has an education system that stresses performance on tests over other considerations. Korean parents are heavily involved in education of their children, but most of their energy is devoted to urging their kids do well on exams to gain a foothold into elite society than in pursuing knowledge for the sake of higher/deeper truth. Most Korean students and parents will favor learning falsehoods if doing so will improve the chances of social success. They don’t care if anything is true or false. Their main commitment is to making sure the kids do better on exams and gaining the approval of the elites(who generally happen to be collaborationist stooges of America).
Of course, much of what the students are made to study have value. There are science classes teaching science and there are math classes teaching math problems. And most of hard science and math tend to favor hard facts and logic over ideological considerations. But in the area of history, literature, social sciences, and humanities, one must not simply swallow the official truth because those disciplines are intertwined with ideology, politics, and the biases of the teachers(and the system that has trained and selected them). One must develop critical skills and a sense of individuality committed to seeking and speaking the truth. If one studies those subjects just to get good grades and do well on tests without examining the deeper meanings and without pondering alternative possibilities, then one has chosen mindless conformism for the sake of status and privilege than a commitment to truth and meaning. One has chosen to become a slave of political correctness.
Because of people’s desire for the good life and social honors, it is understandable why education and social success are intertwined. Many people see education as a pathway and an opportunity to gain success, status, and money in life. But if education is regarded only in a mercenary way, it leads to the conformism of the mind. While an ambitious individual may pursue education to succeed in life and revel in his individual achievements, his individualism may have value only in terms of material success while having no value in terms of truth. After all, there are people in North Korea who say and do just the ‘right’ thing to gain social elevation and gain status in life. They spout the correct paeans to Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il, and Kim Jong Su. They regurgitate the same Marxist-Stalinst-Kim-ist dogmas. They do everything that is ‘right’ and correct for socio-politico-economic success, but they never utter a single word of truth, integrity, and courage.
Things are surely better in South Korea and in Korean-America, but even there, a kind of conformism prevails because the dominant mode of Koreans in both Korea and Korean-America is an Anxiety of Status. In this sense, it may well be that less successful and less socially elevated Koreans and Korean-Americans may have the advantage in seeking and speaking the truth. They have less to lose for speaking their minds(but then they don’t control the media and academia to get their ideas and messages across). After all, if one’s main priority in life is to gain success and enter the world of elites, one must play by the rules that are approved by the powers-that-be that decide what is and isn’t the Official Truth. It’s like all American politicians must sign a pledge to AIPAC in order to have any chance at winning elections. And increasingly, due to the Jewish-Homosexual alliance, it’s becoming nearly impossible for anyone in America to gain any kind of real success or privilege unless he or she supports ‘gay marriage’ or ‘same-sex marriage’.
Of course, as people don’t want to admit that they are craven cowards, they convince themselves that they sincerely believe in the goodness of ‘gay marriage’. They collaborate as cowards — since failing to do so will deny them a place in the elite world — but then pretend that it was all voluntary and heart-felt. And in order to convince themselves that they really do believe in ‘gay marriage’, they viciously attack others who don’t agree. It was the same under communism in China. Many people went along with Maoism out of fear and because they had no choice, especially if they sought social elevation in the Communist Party. But since they didn’t want to admit to themselves that they acted out of cowardice, they convinced themselves that their commitment to Maoism was totally sincere with rabid displays of support and vicious denunciations of anyone deemed insufficiently enthusiastic.
Likewise, many Koreans who collaborated with the Japanese rationalized their decision by pretending that they’d gone along out of free will and for the good of the country since Japan was doing much to develop Korea economically and socially. It’s like so many South Koreans and Korean-Americans slavishly go along with American power but pretend that they are equal partners or equal citizens in America. In fact, they’ve been little more than running dogs doing as ordered by Uncle Sam. But if Uncle Sam in the past represented the kinds of moral values and social norms that were in sync(more or less)with modern Korean values and norms, the New America dominated by Jewish and Homo minority-elites seeks to undermine the values that favor majority norms and values. Korean-Americans, being minorities themselves, may identify with Jews and homosexuals who are also minorities, but the difference is Jews and homosexuals are minority elites whereas Korean-Americans(even successful ones) are no more than servants of America’s ruling class dominated by Jews and homosexuals.
While American Jews are invested in strengthening Israel as a Jewish state, they are working to destabilize and weaken Korea as a Korean state. While American Jews want Jews in Israel to have more kids and allow only Jewish immigration, they tell Koreans to have fewer kids and import non-Koreans in huge numbers until Korea is no longer majority-Korean. Will Koreans and Korean-Americans sign onto this program as craven collaborators just to appease and win approval of the Jewish-and-homosexual elites? Will Korean-Americans and Koreans push for ‘gay marriage’ in Korea just to win approval — like dog wanting to be petted — of the Jewish-and-homosexual elites of America? If indeed the main focus of Korean and Korean-American educational culture is to gain status and seek approval of the powers-that-be, then this is what most Korean elites will do. They will be less devoted to preserving and protecting their nation & culture than in gaining the approval and recognition of their globalist masters who dominate the United States that is now ruled by Jews and homosexuals. Since Jews and homosexuals are minority-elites of America, they try to spread their influence around the world by funding homosexual communities in other nations to act as their proxies. So, the Russian homosexual community is largely funded and advised by globalist Jews and homosexuals in America. So, Jews and homosexuals are funding homosexual communities in Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Japan. As America sees those places as satellite states of the US, they are trying to plant the ‘gay flag’ of neo-imperialist occupation as part of Pax Americana.
If one’s main purpose in learning is to attain the approval of the ruling elites and to gain elevated status(to rub shoulders with the privileged classes), then one’s mode of life will not be fundamentally different from that of a status-seeker in North Korea. Such an individual isn’t interested in the truth and meaning but in economic success and social approval AT ANY COST, indeed even at the cost of selling one’s soul, which is worse than selling one’s body. Ever so slavish to the powers-that-be that decide who gets to succeed and who doesn’t — in accordance to the official orthodoxy of the moment — , individuals who choose such a path will be blind to their own servility and mindless conformism. Similarly, dogs think they are free as they run around, but all they are doing is playing fetch for their masters. And sadly, most Korean and Korean-American intellectuals, academics, and media people are like this. They have a toady mentality that prefers success over all else.
Consider the Korean folktale of two brothers and birds:
In the story, the younger brother finds an injured bird, shelters it, waits until it heals, and then sets it free. He did it simply because he wanted to do good. He wasn’t looking for any material rewards. The bird, however, returns with gourd seeds that, upon sprouting and growing into plants, yield all kinds of treasures. So, the younger brother is rewarded in the long run, but the main point of the story is he did it because he believed in doing what was right. Even if he hadn’t been rewarded by the bird, he would have taken pride in what he did because he did it out of a sense of goodness and truth.
In contrast, his older brother, envious of the rewards reaped by the younger brother, decides to do like his brother did. He finds himself a bird, willfully injures it, then heals it, and sets it free in the hope that the bird will return with gifts for him as well. The bird does indeed return with seeds, but from the seeds grow a series of plants that pour forth with punishments than rewards.
Outwardly, the younger brother and older brother did nearly the same thing. They both healed and took care of injured birds and set them free. But the crucial difference is the younger brother did it out of goodwill and in accordance with his sense of truth. He didn’t injure the bird. He took care of a bird that was already injured. And he did it simply because he believed in it. He wasn’t looking for any rewards. In contrast, the older brother willfully injured the bird and took care of it only because he wanted to be materially rewarded.
This is the difference between true devotion to learning and the kind of learning that prevails all too often in Korean and Korean-American society. Instead of a true dedication to truth and knowledge, Koreans and Korean-Americans just want to do well on exams and parrot the officially approved answers to gain a foothold in the realm of status and privilege. They will do anything to win the Nobel Prize in literature. The prize and recognition are more important to Koreans than sincere devotion to truth and beauty.
Again, Koreans and Korean-Americans aren’t the ONLY people who do this. Most Americans are craven cowards who will bend over backwards to the Jewish and homosexual elites in America who control most of the elite institutions. Since Koreans and Korean-Americans are far less powerful than white Americans, it’s understandable that they just want to go along to get along and win some rewards from the elites who decide who gets in and who doesn’t.
But this is the way of cowards and opportunists. It is the way of collaborationists not unlike the collaborationists who participated with the Japanese colonization of Korea, American division of Korea(with the USSR), the Soviet installment of a Stalinist system in North Korea, and American insistence that South Korea take part in the destruction of Vietnam in return for material-economic rewards and favoritism. True, South Koreans and Korean-Americans have gained a measure of economic success and cultural recognition thanks to their collaboration with the US-dominated world order, but can Koreans and Korean-Americans really claim to be free and independent? Aren’t they really prostitutes who got rich by submitting to and collaborating with whoever happens to have the power? Why are so many Koreans and Korean-Americans like lemmings who just follow-the-leader? It’s because they are slavish toward anything that might bring them a measure of social success and approval.
In some ways, things are worse now than in the past because South Korea and Korean-America are, more or less, success stories. In the past when there was much poverty, chaos, and political repression in South Korea, many people were willing to rise up, protest, and challenge the official dogma. And prior to the rise of political correctness in America, there was much free debate and respect for controversies in American social and political life. But with the economic rise of South Korea, most Koreans have lost the fire to stand up and argue. They just want to do the correct thing to go to good schools and be approved and accepted by the elites. Since there’s no more overt political repression — as during the military-rule era — , most young people have become complacent, obsessed with dumb pop culture, and interested only in socio-economic success. Such single-minded-ness doesn’t do much for individuality, integrity, and courage. As for Korean-Americans, they live and breathe the air of inferiority complex. Though they act ‘outgoing’ and ‘expressive’ in the generic American way, they just say and do whatever in order to be accepted and approved by the prevailing norms of political correctness and the cult of diversity peddled by the ruling elites. They are so eager to win approval of Americans that they want ‘gay marriage’ to become law in South Korea and wouldn’t mind if all of Korea were to become just the 51st state of the United States and be demographically and culturally wiped off the map through massive immigration and race-mixing. They will do anything to win the approval of American globalism dominated by Jews and homosexuals.
If Koreans had real sense, they would ask, "Why do American Jews urge open borders and massive immigration for Korea but support higher birthrates and restricted immigration(only for Jews) in Israel?" But Koreans and Korean-Americans never ask that question because their commitment to truth and sense is always secondary to their striving for status and success by whatever means necessary. Instead of challenging the Jewish and homosexual imperialist elites, Korean-Americans merely ask for instructions and orders like servile little dogs.
In this sense, the new Korea and Korean-America aren’t fundamentally different in mind-set from Old Korea and North Korea. Truth and integrity are secondary to status and success, even if status and success are gained through slavish adherence to official dogma pushed by the ruling elites(which is the Kim clan in North Korea and the Jewish-homosexual alliance in the US that now threatens nations around the world with economic ruin unless they collaborate and sign onto ‘gay marriage’, thereby turning the nations around the world into neo-imperialist colonies of the United States corrupted by Jewish and homosexual elites).