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[Op-Ed] Carnivorous Leftists

Posted August. 04, 2009 08:43,   


Dinosaurs that ruled the world a long time ago are classified as herbivorous, carnivorous and omnivorous. Carnivores generally measured six to 15 meters in size, while herbivores were much larger, with Seismosaurus measuring 50 meters. Herbivorous dinosaurs were bigger in size but slow in agility, and were hence easy prey for carnivorous dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus Rex, which was highly agile and had sharp teeth. In Korea, certain critics view the Lee Myung-bak administration as “herbivorous rightists” who have struggled against progressives despite its overwhelming victory in both the presidential and general elections.

In contrast, “carnivorous leftists” lack a sense of responsibility in presenting inaccurate facts and denying the truth in general. As clearly evidenced by false reports on the risk of mad cow disease in U.S. beef, they will resort to any and all measures and means -- be it exaggeration, distortion or fabrication -- for the sake of reaching their goals. Even if found to be wrong, they avoid taking responsibility or reflecting on their mistakes, and make no efforts to prevent a recurrence. If they encounter a group or individual who poses an obstacle to their goals, they thoroughly level blame against them despite lack of grounds. There are a few rational leftist leaders like Joo Dae-hwan, however, who bolted from the progressive Democratic Labor Party. He has urged a “new left” and promoted the ideology of the Republic of Korea, while condemning the tyrannical North Korean government. Unfortunately, people like him account for a small minority of the leftist community.

Carnivorous leftists have consolidated their positions in Korean society, and are increasing their offensive after the release of the list of board of directors for the Foundation for Broadcast Culture, a majority stakeholder of MBC. Their criticism of the board’s selection was nothing unusual considering their previous distortions of public opinion and instigation of the people, including groundless accusations against former presidential candidate Lee Hoi-chang, the airing of shows criticizing the impeachment of the late President Roh Moo-hyun, and the false scare over mad cow disease. Nevertheless, it is regrettable to hear that these leftists are demanding democracy and media freedom after making excuses for their illegal eavesdropping, oppression of leading newspapers, amassing of wealth by those in power, and support of the North Korean government under the two previous liberal governments.

Rational leftists who honor the rule of law and shun violence deserve respect and dialogue. Yet how effective is a conciliatory policy toward those who lack a sense of truth and always seek to plunge the country into chaos? Unless they change their behavior and way of thinking, it will be more effective to take on carnivorous leftists face to face, show the lies behind their claims, and crush them as a means to advance the country. For Korea to protect freedom and democracy, confidence and courage are as important as pragmatic knowledge.

Editorial Writer Kwon Soon-hwal (shkwon@donga.com)