1. Progressionism

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rogressionism and reformism

Stephen Cho

1 ― Progressionism and reformism

1. Progressionism

The progression means the movement ahead. That directly means the improvement of the social system according to the movement taken by the historical development. Thus, progressionism is a reform of the political system to carry out the independent nation. In other words, it is a question of reforming the current regime. This regime is at the same time a system subordinate to the foreign force and a democratic system violated by the external forces and by making the regime build on national independence, the democracy for the people and the national union. Independence, the democracy and the national union have a revolutionary reach, but these principles represent also progressionism.

The revolution is to realize the independent nation. National independence is an expression in the broad sense and the independence of the people is an expression in the narrow sense. The people are at the same the unit of the national classes and a progressive movement force. There are various stages for carrying out the independent nation: the end of the national discrimination, the abolition of the differences in classes, then differences between the classes and works. We call the duty to solve national discrimination the completion of the independence of the nation.

Some people restrict the significance of the progressive evolution to that of the socialist revolution. In general, we consider progress as that of the socialist revolution whose people become the master, of national sovereignty on the one hand, and of the means of production on the other hand. However, the history develops dialectically and it is essential for the subordinate society to carry out national independence. The division of Korea into the North and the South, the history of the other countries show that the realization of national independence is fundamental to carry out the independence of the people and the abolition of class distinctions.

The fundamental paradox, which determines the birth, the development and the dispersion of the South Korean society, is the national paradox and the paradox of the classes. If we miss one of these two paradoxes, we cannot determine the South Korean society any more. Between them two, the national paradox determines that of the classes. For that reason, the character of subordination determines that of the South Korean society. For this purpose, it would be at first necessary to solve the national paradox before the paradox of the classes.

The progressive force indicates the classes and the social stratum, which are a part of progressionism. In South Korea, the working class and the peasant class, the progressive intellectuals, youth and the students are the progressive forces. They play a decisive role to carry out the independent nation. They are thus identical to the progressive force. We call them also national democratic forces.

Forces being able to help the revolutionary movement also exist in the South Korean society, which is subordinate capitalist. The middle-class, the intellectuals, the patriotic capitalists take part in it. In spite of the limits of their class, they always hesitate to choose between the revolution and the anti-revolution. Nevertheless, with regard to the revolution against national discrimination, they link together and play an important role in the same way that the social forces which are the driving force of this movement. It is thus in the broad sense that these forces of support also belong to the progressive class.

The concept of anti-American progressionism is in fact the repetition of a significance of the progressive change. For that reason, this one indicates already independence, the democracy and the national union. However, we employ this word in certain cases in order to insist on the anti-Americanism meaning or to put it in opposition with the concept of “pro-American conservatism”. The anti-American progressive force is thus the progressive force. It should notice that as for the words like “force”, “capacity”, “line”, “camp”, they indicate all the same group and thus there are few differences between them. I.e. we do not employ them exclusively to indicate a class or a social stratum. The progressive “force” thus indicates the progressive “capacity” and the progressive “line”, even the progressive “camp".

2. Conservatism

Conservatism means to maintain in the same state. It is against the reform of the current social regime, which however violates the independent nation. In Korea, conservatism thus means the refusal of independence, the democracy and the reunification, i.e. that wants to maintain the subordinate mode to the foreign force, which violates the democracy of the people and maintains the division of Korea. Independence, the democracy, national union: since they mean all the three the revolution, conservatism and the anti-revolution, they have the same significance. Those who are not in favor of progressionism: they are conservative. Those who are not in favor of the revolution are anti-revolutionists.

The conservative force indicates the class and the social stratum, specific to the conservatives. In South Korea, the conservative force is the dominant class. The balance of force between classes in a society divides between the dominant force and the dominated force according to the possession of the governmental capacity or of the means of production. There are no other forces only that dominant and dominated. Then, what is the “third force” (which we can also call the middle-class)? The third force is not between the dominant force and the dominated force. It is simply also the dominated force.

The domination is a political concept and the profit is an economic concept. The force, which directs the national sovereignty, is the dominant force and the force, which does not have the means of production, is the dominated force. By the way, the South Korean patriotic capitalist, who positions in top of the third force, is politically the dominated force and economically the dominant force because it does not have governmental capacity, but only economic capacity. If we thus see the statute of the patriotic capitalist who does not have any political power, we can easily imagine how much the force of the statute of the middle-class or that of the intellectual is weak.

Therefore, in South Korea, the dominated force divided itself into two forces: the workers and the third force. These two forces have the same idea as for the reform of the current regime, since they do not have the governmental capacity. The third force is thus a driving force of the revolution. However, with regard to the real notion of the revolution, it takes a statute of support force and carries out simply the secondary tasks. The need for the front of the reunification emerges because of the differences of role and statute between the worker and the third force. The third force is for the workers a means for the front of the reunification.

As in the concept of conservatism, there is the subordination, the anti-democracy and the refusal of the national union, the concept of “pro-American conservative” is a repetition of the same significance because, as for subordination, it directly means “pro-American”. Nevertheless, we employ these expressions in order to insist on a significance of this character “pro-American”, or to put it in opposition with “anti-progressionism”. The pro-American conservative force is thus the conservative force. The pro-American conservative force divides between the pro-American conservative force and the pro-American reformist force. In South Korea, the pro-American conservative force is part of the pro-American fascistic force and the pro-American reformist force belongs to the pro-American middle-class force.

In South Korea, the working class and the middle-class are only in competition for the right to govern. The leading class of the revolution against national class-feeling can become the working class as far as the middle-class. The revolt of March 1, 1919 was a failure after the attempt to launch in Korea (Chosŏn) a revolution, by which the national middle-class would be directed. In fact, the working class carried out the Chosŏn revolution and they develop that by the benefit of the front of the national reunification where the working class and the national middle-class join.

The pro-American middle-class’s political power is very weak in South Korea for that reason that its’ economic capacity is very weak, because of the subordinate character of the Korean society and of the fascistic military regime during 30 years. The pro-American middle-class reformists governments (Kim Dae-jung, Roh Moo-hyun), after an interim period of the Kim Young-Sam government, fully did not exert their powers because of their subordination and their own weaknesses, just as they could not apply their own revolutionary policies. It is thus necessary that the anti-American revolutionary force impregnate the anti-American reformist force and the pro-American conservative force.

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