Talk:Anarchism in Korea

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Very misleading article indeed --

Especially misleading, is the following, and I quote -- "Anarchism in Korea began in 1894, when Japan invaded Korea with the stated intention of protecting it from China. It was from within the exiles who fled to China in the wake of the 1919 independence conflict that the modern anarchist movement in Korea arose. This struggle, which involved 2 million people is referred to as the 3.1 Movement; anarchists played a significant role in this movement. There were 1,500 demonstrations held. 7,500 people were killed and 16,000 wounded and around 700 homes and 47 churches were destroyed. There were three stages in Korea anarchism.[1] "

The above paragraph grossly overplays the role of anarchism in the Korean independence struggle to the point of fabrication -- anarchists as a coherent movement or self aware collective just did not play any significant role whatsoever in the movement : the struggle was an extremely focused and self aware nationalist anti colonial struggle which emphasised racial exclusivity of the Korean nation,racial purity and blood and soil ethnic ties and exalted them over everything, with much mention of Darwinian survival of the fittest etc.

It is surely true that Shin Chaeho had a passing, interest in anarchism -- but he never in any reasonable coherent way resolved that interest with his overwhelming interest in statism, racial purity,blood lines, ethnic exclusivity and darwinian competition between nations, a dialectical struggle in which he believed that the stronger racial/ethnic force would vanquish the weaker races.

Anarchism in Korea was never a coherent organised movement, and was never anything but a passing inspiration, very quickly trumped by extreme nationalism and adherence to race loyalties and the hierarchical, conservative values that were deeply rooted in Korean culture anyway. For more information, read the research of Shin Giwook and Choi Jang Jip and Professor Em.

Anyone looking for evidence a Korean anarchist movement is very quickly going to find himself reading through the literature of the time, which is , for the most part, represented by extremely jingoistic nationalist 'blood and soil' manifestos. Make a start by reading Shin Chaeho's treatises on history, ethnic identity, racial exclusivity and survival of the fittest, then move on to his short stories and fiction, which focus on similar themes.

The key point to bear in mind is that Korea from the late 1800's onwards was in extreme shock and extreme crisis and under extreme external threat, a threat that could easily have seen Korea wiped off the map -- therefore, to many, the extreme nationalism and ethnic awareness of Shin Chaeho and Kim Jwa Jin was a brave and fierce survival strategy to be emulated, admired and applauded. They did take a fleeting influence from anarchist theory and rhetoric, and put that in service of the people in a manner which makes them deeply revered, loved and respected in Korea until the present day. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rutherfordlad (talkcontribs) 13:56, 18 June 2012 (UTC)


Here is a good paper that shows how unresolved and incoherent Korean 'anarchism' was --

The historian is not Korean -- Koreans like Shin Giwook,Professor Em and Choi Jang Jip have a far better understanding of the contradictions of Korean 'anarchism' -- but, it is a good paper, because it clearly demonstrates how much of what people call Korean 'anarchism', is, more truthfully, survival of the fittest, extreme ethno centric 'blood' line focused racial nationalism, and volk idealism. When you have read Shin Chaeho, closely -- it really becomes difficult to define his ideas as being even remotely anarchist.

 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rutherfordlad (talkcontribs) 08:18, 5 July 2012 (UTC) 

Ha Ki-Rak, Kim Jwa-jin, and Sin Chaeho were all Korean anarchists, so could be worked into this article. Murderbike (talk) 03:46, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

That's a good idea, Murderbike. I will consider working them into the article. --Grrrlriot (talk) 04:06, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
Done I added the 3 Korean anarchists listed above into the article.--Fang 23 (talk) 01:11, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
Worthy of note are articles on recent decisions on the part of South Korea to recognize it's anarchist history through the lens of anti-colonialism and pseudo-nationalism. Recent decisions to declare Kim Jwa-jin, Shin Chae-ho (1880-1936), Yu Rim (1894-1961), Park Ryol (1902-1972), Yu Cha-myong (1891-1985), and Yo Un-hyung (1886-1947) "national", "patriotic" heroes, and positive portrayals of anarchists in film (Anakiseuteu) are worthy of note. For more information, try this relatively recent article: Korean Anarchists Pursuing Third Way--Cast (talk) 05:15, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
Oh yeah, and Anarchists (film). Murderbike (talk) 05:17, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
And of course I forgot, much to my unyielding regret, the relatively unknown anarchist uprising in Manchuria, the second major anarchist revolution in the autonomous Shinmin region. Don't leave it out. It's practically a smear on us all for not knowing more about it.--Cast (talk) 05:20, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
I will add more to this article in the near future. These are some good ideas that the both of you are suggesting. --Grrrlriot (talk) 16:49, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

There is also tons of info to glean from this Google Book search. Murderbike (talk) 18:18, 2 February 2008 (UTC)


Korean anarchism and misleading nonsense about 'anarchist revoltions by Koreans in Sinmin' etc --

Most of the so called articles on 'anarchist histories of the Korean people' ( such as those from are blatantly false, absurdly romanticised, poorly researched, and misleading -- there was no mass scale 'anarchist revolution' whatsoever in Manchuria, Sinmin or parts of Korea -- ever -- at any time. It is fantasy inspired by vague half truths and bad research.

Korean so called 'anarchists' active in Manchuria/Sinmin such as Shin Chaeho and Kim Jwa Jin, were racially motivated extreme nationalists, who believed in concepts of 'racial purity', 'pure race', 'pure blood lines',and Darwinian struggle for survival which would lead to racial supremacy of 'the superior races', and so on :it is true that they -- briefly -- showed an interest in anarchism, but only because they thought it served their purposes at the time.

But that is really where the comparisons end.

The Korean 'anarchists' ( more accurate to call them racial nationalists) did, indeed, meet and mobilise in Manchuria ( Sinmin )but it is plain false to describe it as some kind of 'anarchist victory/utopia' -- the Koreans did indeed mobilise there, because it was an area that many Koreans lived in when Korea itself was occupied by Japan, and it gave them freedom of movement when Korea was being harassed by external forces ( traders and other subversive influences from the West and East, desperate to turn Korea into a submissive nation ) . And Koreans were also there for extreme nationalist reasons : many Korean nationalists considered Manchuria ( Sinmin ) to be Korean, and they dreamt of reclaiming it, because thousands of years ago, it was indeed, Korean ruled land ( read up on history of Kogu-ryo and Manchu).

So much absolute crap has been written about the so called Korean 'anarchists', mainly by poorly informed Westerners, who want to fantasise about 'Korean Anarchist revolutions and free autonomous Anarchist areas' and other such nonsense -- it is just not true, and it is misleading history. People should get informed by reading the KOREAN historians, and the KOREAN academics, who understand the period very well, and understand the complex cross overs between conservative nationalism, Confucian traditions, and the influences from nineteenth century western traditions of Darwinism, Fascism,biology and genealogy and -- to a very small degree -- anarchism. Read Shin gi wook, Choi Jang Jip and Professor Em. These KOREAN writers will tell you far far more than Western amateurs who want to imagine Korea was some kind of righteous or bohemian anarchist utopia for a period in the 1900s.

The truth is, the history of Anarchism in Korea is really tiny -- it is true, that anarchism was a passing influence on Shin Chaeho, and one or two others -- but only because anarchism coincided with already existing Korean ideas about peasant purity, peasant unity, cooperation, peasant economies based on sharing,and the Korean peasants/nationalists rejection of the individual destructive greed inherent within amoral subversive capitalism and so on.

But that is where it ends -- as soon as Koreans decided that extreme blood and soil based nationalism suited their ends better, anarchism was sidelined as a very brief influence. In reality Koreans are, historically a people motivated and shaped by respect for conservative forces and racial interests, aswell as a high regard for highly conventional and very hierarchical organisation -- anarchism and internationalist ideals that rejected nationalism and rejected exclusive racial allegiances and rejected conservative statism and conservative human relations could never have taken firm hold in Korea.

Just read Shin Chaeho yourself -- read it -- and you will very quickly see that there is, indeed, a little of Bakunin style rhetoric there, for sure. There is fair amount of talk about 'believing in the ruins', and talk of rutheless extreme violence and there is talk of sheer destruction being a force for good,the 'beginning of the new' and so on, all rhetoric anarchists will recognise. But -- there is far far more time spent on theories of racial purity, race power, extreme nationalism, exclusive specialness, special unique blood lines, racial uniqueness and the importance of Darwinian struggle, survival of the fittest, and even talk of the neccesity to expand and conquer territory and the urgency of strengthening of the exclusive nation and statism. None of that is even vaguely anarchist.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Rutherfordlad (talkcontribs) 05:17, 18 June 2012 (UTC) 

Copyright issues[edit]

I rewrote a good chunk of the paragraph as it was lifted from [1] with only minor changes. It needs some attention from someone more knowledgeable but obviously should not be simply reverted. CIreland (talk) 15:59, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

To the above poster -- quite right -- Libcom is a well motivated source, and in my view, they provide a great and good service which I unreservedly support ( Free books, good links etc ) but they also provide a dis-service, in that there is just no quality control -- lots of the stuff on their site seems to have been written by over zealous over excited individuals who don't have much grounding in rigorous historical method or don't check their sources. Thus the stuff written about the so called 'Korean anarchist tradition' on thier site is total rubbish, and badly informed wishful thinking.

PS no disrespect intended to young and idealistic anarchists who are badly informed and haven't read enough -- I only say that because I confess to having been one myself, for large parts of my youth ! I criticise from experience!

Shinmin Free Province[edit]

Park Yeol, (the korean Makhno), and the Shinmin Free Province in 1929, look at for the spanish page!

Let's work people! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tadeoska (talkcontribs) 00:03, 29 September 2016 (UTC)