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[Opinion] Abolitionists

Posted May. 23, 2004 22:32,   


A recent buzzword is “abolition theory.” Abolitionists believe that something should be eliminated in the world in order to make a better society. They think that Seoul National University should be abolished in order to eliminate the superiority of an academic clique, and that some press should disappear so that five grains and all sorts of flowers of public opinion may be fully ripened. They did not say this in public, but there will be lots of things to be abolished. Here are some controversy tips for them.

First, they have to find and present the evidence saying the seriousness of the problems caused by the existence of the should-be-abolished. They should continue to develop so-called strong motive issues. It is natural to want to eliminate things harmful to society. However, supporters of this will be negligible if there are slightly appropriate functions to those things. Abolitionists should present evidence that the objects to be abolished are obstacles to realizing a righteous society because it is not that easy to persuade others that an object is defective but not an obstacle, or why an object should be abolished among its many hindrances.

Secondly, they have to show a curing vision that shows previously stated serious problems have clearly been resolved after abolition. It is difficult to win disputes if there is room for reiteration of the problems instead of improvements after the abolition. Lastly, the abolition cost should be persuasive. It takes time, space, and money just to burn up the trash; abolishing something accumulated with capital and logic over a long period of time will require even more effort and expense. It is hard to achieve a victory in the argument if it is better to live with them just because the cost and efforts for the abolition are too big.

Arguments are proposals from those who want change. Supporters of maintaining the status quo are often lazy and loose because they only have to succeed their ancestor’s achievements. Accordingly, it is the abolitionists’ job to collect evidence heading into a dispute, leading, and winning the dispute. They should be diligent, logical, and patient and have guts. They have to fight the law of inertia, which hardly disappears once it has occurred. It is too good to spend such enormous energy on abolishing something.

Guest editorial writer Park Sung-Hee, Ewha Women’s University, shpark1@ewha.ac.kr