Thursday, January 5, 2017

Handover Hangover

The unenthusiastic saehaebokmanibadeuseyos that evaporated as early as January 2nd, the post-truth / pre-Trump gloom / doom, the neverending Park-Choi-Woo drama*...

Korea seems to be dragging her feet into the young year, but I also see a lot of people taking the leap. And for a change, not only in that most tragic sense of the term.

Yes, this nation missed its momentum, piled up unnecessary crises, and failed to become a true leader while China and others were catching up, eager to follow the new benchmark. Yes, Korea was betrayed by her own leaders, and their fall will even undermine their too few good initiatives (e.g. nurturing creative ecosystems). Yes, no candidate seems to have the leadership qualities required by the moment.

But yes, new leaders are emerging from the bottom up. Sound citizens and entrepreneurs bringing positive social and economic changes across communities. And of course there is the formidable and overwhelmingly non-ideological democratic movement that bloomed over the last months, a new collective conscience and exigence that hopefully will debunk populists as well as other enemies of democracy.

Yes, Korea is in crisis, but that's precisely now that she can become a true leader, if she seizes the moment to redefine a sustainable vision for society, economics, and politics.

Seoul Village 2017
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* Park Geun-hye - Choi Soon-sil - Woo Byung-woo (see "Of power vacua and excesses"). Will they all be in jail one year from now? Distressing to see how the 3 topics in last year's first post (see "2016 under the carpet") managed to get even worse since:
- one year ago, Shinzo ABE and PGH agreed to insult history as a tandem, and today the former is recalling his ambo over the latest 'comfort women' row.
- one year ago, KIM Jong-un was playing with nukes, and today he's about to test Trump's control of the red and blue buttons (the blue one's for Tweeter, can you remember that, Don?)
- one year ago, the Korean opposition was fighting over who would be the best leader for the 2017 elections. Today, MOON Jae-in, AHN Cheol-soo, PARK Won-soon and all have to add LEE Jae-myung to their worries, and election day is likely to happen much earlier than scheduled.
... should I continue with time bombs that were bound to explode, yet somehow managed to grow even fatter (e.g. household debt)...? so happy next year! ("Happy New Year 2018" / "Bonne année 2018")

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