as musician Jimi Hendrix once said, “When the power of love overcomes the love for power, the world will know peace”. In light of recent events, our world as we know it seems to be heading in the completely opposite direction of peace. Those holding power have failed to wield it responsibly; instead they have allowed themselves to be tainted by their primal lust for power and desire to abuse it.
The events in this month’s issue of the Herald exhibit great variety, but are telling of a unifying theme: power. Power corrupts indiscriminately on both big and small scales, holding no remorse as it manifests its destructive capabilities anywhere and everywhere. Starting small, from power struggles in our own beloved campus, the former Central Election Commission (CEC) has compromised its self-proclaimed value of impartiality, which it once so proudly declared to uphold in an oath sworn to the 4000 undergraduate students in KAIST. It has done so by engaging in off-manual investigations targeting specific individuals, lashing out at them with emotionally-charged criticisms, and publicly shaming them on various social media with the CEC’s official account. In news outside of KAIST, South Korea has been swept up in turmoil amidst the Choi Soon-sil Gate political scandal, in which a mere individual was found to be rampantly exploiting personal connections to a head of state to satiate individual interests. Overseas, the power struggle between Trump and Clinton has left the US battered and its people divided in the aftermath of one of its most polarizing elections. Shifting away from the political scene and into the arena of entertainment, AfreecaTV, Korea’s leading live streaming platform, has been accused of using its dominant market share to bully its users as well.
November has been an overwhelming month, with leaders and elites all over the globe seemingly banding together just to boast how horribly and incompetently humans can manage power. The spectacle of this month’s scandals have been discouraging, calling into question if society will ever be able to govern itself, fine-tuning the distribution of power and rationally deciding who should hold it. However, it is during hard and dismaying times like these where our solidarity is greatest in need.
Fortunately, change is approaching around the corner. The establishment’s blind and destructive love for power has provoked intense backlash from the people who feel they have been deceived and unjustly disenfranchised. And now, the disenfranchised are fighting back. The former CEC, which has lost its credibility, has been disbanded. Nationwide, protestors have taken to the streets calling for the resignation of President Park Geun-hye. Universities, including KAIST, have announced declarations of state of affairs. Previous users of AfreecaTV have turned away, boycotting it.
Society may be going through chaotic times strewn with conflict, disorder, and dissent. However, what we are going through is a necessary process we must endure in order to move forward. In the face of tyranny, against insurmountable odds, the people overcome. Fighting the power and triumphing is what the people have done time and time again before, and it is what we intend to do now.
Young Jip Kim