The Red People



In a historical context, Korean nationalism seems necessary as an effort to control what it could within the context of a complex weave of Korean traditions. It was obvious there was a need to rebuild a nation that had suffered decades of humiliation by foreign powers. Nationalism has often been a convenient and effective political tool, mostly for ruling classes. The primary tactic of early nationalists during a period of colonial occupation was to struggle for national independence. Furthermore, since the nationalists were once the victims of imperialist aggression, nationalism generally assumes the character of anti-imperialism. However, nationalism often became a hegemonic ideology of the ruling elite and deprived it into a tool of authoritarianism. Conservatives used the concept of nationalism as a façade for their class interests and evinced concern for anti-feudal democratic reforms.[1]


Screenshot from “In pursuit of greatness

[1] Porteux, Jonson. Police, Paramilitaries, Nationalists and Gangsters: The Processes of State Building in Korea. Michigan: University of Michigan Press

[2] Seo, Joong-Seok. Korean Nationalism Betrayed. Folkestone: Global Oriental, 2007. 

Comments are closed.

Frank YJ Cho