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South Korea and the fate of liberalism

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The assumption that Korean society will one day resemble American society is based on the belief that Americans will do everything they can to hold on to their power and influence. Gettyimagesbank
By Peter Paik

At times I encounter among Koreans the assumption that Korean society is moving in a direction that will cause it increasingly to resemble American society. The influence of tradition will wane as people gain more freedom to determine the course of their lives, free of the pressures of tradition and authority. South Korea will therefore become more individualistic, more diverse, and more tolerant of different lifestyles in the coming years.

But looking at life in the U.S. today, one wonders whether the embrace of liberal values that characterize American society might reproduce the same problems that have brought the country to the brink of social and political dissolution. The U.S. may look rich and powerful from the outside, but viewed from the inside, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that American society is unraveling on many levels.

Decades of de-industrialization and outsourcing of jobs have hollowed out the economy in the heartland. The working class no........

© The Korea Times