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Those who despise democratization and privatization
JANUARY 04, 2014 01:08  
Clause 1 under Article 1 of the Korean Constitution is the declaration that 밫he Republic of Korea shall be a democratic republic. Democracy literally means that 밣eople are the owner of sovereignty. Republic means a 뱒tate that is ruled by all people, and roughly translated, it constitutes repetition of the word 밺emocracy. Then, what is the word that is most often used in the preamble to the Korean Constitution, which starts with 밯e, the people of Korea, proud of a resplendent history and traditions dating from time immemorial뀛? 밆emocracy, 밊reedom and 밣eople are used three times each.

Likewise, democracy is core value that sustains our community. If one explains the meaning of democracy that way to people in their 40s or older who experienced the nation뭩 democratization process, they will feel that 밒t may be accurate but is very dry and dull. To these people, democratization was a supreme task and call of the era. It was time-honored aspiration, and achievement of overflowing excitement that was made through endless dedication and sacrifices. They are the generation who know through strong, shared experience that people뭩 freedom and basic human rights, which had been lightly disregarded, were reinstated only through democratization.

The website of a conservative organization put a 밆emocratization button to indicate a menu for people to express 뱋bjection. Here, the term 밺emocratization is used to mean 밺islike or 뱒uppress. The organization thus expresses their antipathy towards the force that spearheaded democratization, which currently functions as an actual political force. A member of a female music band told a radio interview, 밯e are a team that respects each other뭩 personality. We don뭪 democratize, which caused outcry. She meant to say that the band does not disregard or suppress minority뭩 view, but she had to apologize later, saying, 밒 used the word without knowing the exact meaning.

Recently, the website of a progressive organization is using a 밣rivatization button for visitors to indicate 밺islike. This is a practice in which the term 뱎rivatization is being cursed as 밺evil due to ramifications of recent rail workers strike. However, just looking into Korean Air, SK Telecom, Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction, KT, POSCO, and KT&G will allow one to instantly realize how irrational to despise privatization. They were once state-run firms, but have become highly sound and competitive companies through their privatization as watershed. People think and figure out the world through the medium of language. Denying all values that the rival group emphasizes is extreme ideological confrontation.

Editorial Writer Heo Seung-ho (tigera@donga.com)

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