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[Opinion] Tomorrow` Life Is Frightening

Posted September. 05, 2001 08:38,   


Somebody defined fall as a season of reflection. We are told to have a time to contemplate even in the midst of loud noise, and to strip off unnecessary stuffs from life and mind as if we tear off lace decoration on clothes. I wish I had such calmness. If all the members of our society can have such a time, we can have fall worth living. If everybody tries to understand each other, and the rich restrains while the poor keeps dignity despite continuing inequality, there will remain at least a little bit of harmony.

However, the current situation makes hasten our minds rather than our bodies. It is hard to understand why there is no time to think about one another. As I close my eyes in the midst of such an instability and vortex, the only thing comes up to my mind is a message from a confusing novel.

Chinggis Eitmatof, a Kirgisstan writer, talks about an extraordinary story in his novel `Cassandra`s Stigma`. According to the novel, an unborn child, right after its conception, can foresee what is waiting for him/ her in the future life. As the unborn child knows that the future life is filled with various evils, the unborn child refuses to be born. The unborn child`s will to refuse to be born is revealed through freckles or moles on the face of pregnant woman. However, before humans recognize that, the will of the unborn child fades away because the infant reconciles with the fate that is waiting for him/ her. As the population of the earth increases due to the unborn child of Cassandra, evils of humans accumulate and reach to the level right before destruction.

The novel deals with problems of civilization, which humans face in a new century. However, this foreign fiction seems a description of our complicated reality rather than a warning of a global and cosmic future. Wasn`t I an unborn child of Cassandra? Isn`t current situation an excretion of evil that we committed?

I cannot but close my eyes in the morning when I think such an extreme situation. Finally, the political situation was faced with a small collapse. Although a new phase unfolds after a collapse, tomorrow, which is defined by the unstable politics, is very frightening. Economy is no longer theorists` possession. Along with serious situation in town market, worldwide recession is anticipated.

Economy of the enlarged modern capitalism seems to teach that although there are enough food, one should be starved if there are not enough tables and receptacles. Although professors, who are mobilized under the plan of frequent college admission, are busy throughout the year, high schools are likely to be messier. Students, who already received admission, students, who prepare for the college admission again, students, who prepare for something else, and students, who give up from the beginning, are all mixed.

Fervent opposition over the issue of reform and ideology seems to be paused for a while. If it means each side is contemplating for the negotiation and progress, it is good. However, if it is a counterattack, which encourages the silent majority to raise their voices, would this be helpful for the resolution? Can we say that social disputes have been caused by outspoken minority? Hasn`t political opposition, which mobilized the majority, contributed to strand the reform initiated by the minority?

Let`s take concrete examples. As the opposition party argues, is dismissal of the Unification Minister people`s judgment on failed North Korean policy of the current government? If it is not right to focus on the South and North exchange based on the current condition, is there any alternative that does not repeat the past? Hasn`t `unruly behavior` of 8.15 South delegation members changed to `unexpected incident` by highlighting an aspects that is different from the true nature of the incident? If the person is punished because of an expression of `Mangyungdae spirit`, is it because the expression is essentially anti-value of the society, or because the person did not follow the inclusive principle of the government?

There should be contemplation on these issues. There are many things that are not discussed due to the majority. Contemplation without such a consideration is not helpful for the reality that follows. We only find out that there is no difference between the moment we open our eyes and the moment we close our eyes. In order for the descendents of Cassandra to live…

Cha Byong-Jik (cooperative general secretary of People`s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, lawyer)