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Ham Seok-hon's perspective on the people and the discourse of democracy

  • The Review of Korean History
  • 2010, (97), pp.147-190
  • Publisher : The Historical Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > History

이상록 1

1국사편찬위원회

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Ham Seok-hon's thought was focused on the advocate of the discourse of people's autonomy. He stressed the people as the subject of history and interpreted the history of the people as the history of adversity after he impressed from Uchimura Ganzo's nonchurch movement. He regarded the people as a 'whole' or 'God', and insisted that the united people as the ethical and religious subject would not fear any dictatorship. While other intellectuals welcomed military coup in 1961, he desperately opposed it based on revolutionism of the people. Though he didn't deny representative democracy, he pursued people's autonomy that the people became a political subject as a ideal state of democracy. Ham Seok-hon remarkably criticized the theory of social evolution which justified the law of the jungle and the survival of the fittest. He denied the epistemology which divided into 'forwardness' and 'backwardness' around material civilization. He defended the resistance of nonviolence and absolute peace with a revolutionary spirit of the people. His discourse of people's autonomy had a limit that hardly included the idea of personal freedom or the politics of difference. However his discourse had a possibility radicalizing the substantial democracy with emphasizing the resistance of the people.

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