Monday, May 24, 2010

The politics of minority

Yet more Korean social thought. The Politics of Minority (English summary) was the first of Suyu Noma's Bookzines and contains some interesting articles. It is from 2007/2008 and has elements of a postdevelopment critique of Korean progressive thought. Remember that this was the time when Sonjinhwa (joining the advanced countries) ideology was gaining popularity, and Roh's regime had deepened its neoliberal turn. The editors attack what they see as a stage-ist theory of democracy and development that subordinates human and other forms of life to market and state forces, highlighting the struggles of migrant workers, disabled citizens, and the diverse ecology of Saemangum, among other 'minorities.' They have published a few other issues since then, and I'm curious if they've yet to expand their notions of alter-revolution and commune-ism to forms of economic practice. It seems to be one of the loopholes of their broader oeuvre: while they have reimagined political democracy, I've not seen much from them on economic democracy. I think they would embrace a position similar to JK Gibson-Graham, judging from some of their political commitments and the structure of their commune or 'research machine' as they call it.

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