An Old Man's Ruminations (I)

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An Old Man's Ruminations (I)  (1945) 
by Yun Chi-ho

his the last latter, in 1945

An Old Man's Ruminations (I)

Oct. 15th. 1945

  1. To hear the Kroeas talk about running a democratic govement sounds to me very much like hearing a child of six talking about driving an automobile or piloting an aiirplane. England and the U.S of Americo are two countries (only two) in the world which have made a succes of democracy. The Germans with their wonderful civic virtues and the French with all their logic and learning haven't got to the standard of democracy as set by the English. Which of the numerous Latin American republics can one point at as a real democratic state? Korea is 'today' no better prepared for democracy than China Manchuria.
  2. Some Koreans are wishing for communism. Too bad! if England with all her political sagacity and practical wisdom goes slow in introcucing socialistic policies how can Korea hope to mangage a communistic republic without knowing even the a, b, c, of real socialism? By the way, Korean communist, with the aid of their tutors, in the North (of the 38th degree N.L) have, during the last two months, given us sample ample taste of what we may expect to suffer, if communism were to triumph in Korea. Between the loving kindness and tender mercies of the plundering, raping and slaughtering brand of communism and the repressive and opperssive Japanese militarism, between the devil and deep what is there to choose?
  3. Hence, what Kroea needs today, and for many yeras to come, in a benevolent Paternalism. I Wish some strongman would arise who could, with a firm hand and unselfish devotion, keep the demagogue and communists from imposing, on the unducated and undisciplined masses ok Korea, the mere forms and slogans of democracy, on one hand; and on the other, the atrocities and absurdities of communism. We, Koreas, are not yet politically prepared for pure democracy of radical communism. We are in great danger of mistaking unvridled license for liberty and brigandage for communism.
  4. Whatever from the new gobernment to be set up in Korea may assume, let the Koreans keep their ancient custom and ugage, introducing new ones, when and where it is necessary, step by step.


  • 국사편찬위원회, 《윤치호 서한집》(탐구당, 1984) 262 - 263 pp.

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