During the Park Chung-hee administration, he was always the ‘eye of the typhoon’.
He was different in the political scene where the so-called ‘Sakura’ of the ‘opposition during the day and the ruling party at night’ prevailed because some of the opposition parties were caught up in the operation of the Central Intelligence Agency. Over the humiliating talks between Korea and Japan and the dispatch of troops to Vietnam, he was a fierce opponent of the struggle. Although he was a minority member of a minor party or an independent, with an upright personality that covers the right and wrong, his remarks and struggles made the ruling party tense, attracted media attention, and energized the helpless opposition party.
Following Syngman Rhee, he became fiercely opposed to Chunghee Park, and the pipeline of political funds was frozen, making it impossible to lead the organization. Therefore, it was a great loss not only for the individual but also for Korean politics that he failed to become a ‘competent person’ in the opposition party even though he had all the conditions as a politician, such as a brilliant career in the independence movement and anti-dictatorship struggle, and unmatched ability and speech.
In the history of Korean politics, which is approaching the 80th anniversary of the constitution, there are only a few politicians who have carried out political activities with their own political philosophy. There are not a few members who have served in the 4th or 5th term or more, but most of them have disappeared without presenting a management plan and vision for democratization of state affairs, national welfare, and national unification that will remain in the constitutional history.
In the early 1960s, even in the bloody anti-communist system of military dictatorship, he did not adapt to the market trend and presented the ideology of democratic socialism. It was a system that avoided the contradictions and ills of capitalism and socialism and converged and developed the positive fields of the two systems. Introducing the Frankfurt Declaration of 1951 and the Oslo Declaration of 1962, he criticized both the communist dictatorship and the capital monopoly system.
Overcoming poverty, unemployment, and inequality that have been formed under capitalism since the 19th century, pursuing economic democratization that realizes social security, full employment, economic growth, and fairness in income and profit distribution, and furthermore, individual rights and freedom from the despotic dictatorship of power. It was the argument that political democratization should be pursued by defending the (Note 1)
During the last 18th presidential election, ‘economic democratization’, which the opposition candidates consistently made as a key pledge of the election, was presented by Seo Min-ho more than 50 years ago. You can find foresight half a century ahead. It would be said that the copyright of today’s ‘economic democratization’ policy belongs to Seo Min-ho. Hearing the following argument gives us a sense of the present.
Democratic socialism is the correct form of democracy, and it cannot but be regarded as the best among the systems so far for the welfare of mankind. Rusky of the Labor Party of England argued that true democracy should be accompanied by the distribution of wealth as well as the distribution of power, and Streller of the Labor Party of England also said in his book
He foresaw that only democratic socialism is possible for a democracy that respects the right to life, personality, and freedom of human beings politically, economically, socially, culturally and internationally, and pursues improvement of life based on self-reliance and self-respect. However, conservative politicians from both the ruling and opposition parties and the ignorant military dictatorship government blocked his ideology and activities by binding them with the National Security Law rather than accepting the insight of the visionary political leader due to the outdated capitalist theory and anti-communist logic.
Seo Min-ho came to realize the need for an innovative party based on democratic socialism. It was a political belief that a conservative two-party system was impossible to represent the changing trends of the international community, the issue of inter-Korean reunification, and the underprivileged. Therefore, on April 13, 1966, the Democratic Socialist Party (Civil Democratic Party) establishment preparation committee was formed. On the 27th of the same month, he was appointed as the chairman of the founding committee at the meeting to prepare for the founding of the Democratic Party.
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