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The column article here in progressive newspaper/site Hangyoreh reflect growing awareness and criticism in South Korea of Samsung:

The book “Thinking About Samsung (Samseong-eul Saenggakhanda)” by attorney Kim Yong-cheol is required reading for anyone who wishes to understand the Republic of Korea of today. In particular, it shares the way in which state organizations have contorted themselves miserably in the face of Samsung, South Korea’s largest chaebol. When the Samsung management scattered about a slush fund of astronomical proportions, government organizations repaid the debt of gratitude by covering up all manner of illegalities and improprieties. The autonomy of a modern state “ruled by the authority of law” came crashing down. The fact that so many calls for direct action through a Samsung boycott campaign have erupted, chiefly through the Internet newspaper Pressian, can be attributed first and foremost to the rage citizens feel about being betrayed by the state.

Samsung’s was not delegated power through an election, but it has already taken the nation in its grip. Former president Roh Moo-hyun’s remark that “Power has gone over to the market” was not far off from the sense that his own administration was also under Samsung’s control. Public prosecutors and special prosecutors, the National Tax Agency and the Financial Supervisory Service, the National Assembly and the judiciary – all have betrayed the people’s expectations for the realization of law and justice in the face of Samsung’s authority. All have negated their own reasons for being. And by issuing a special pardon for an individual conglomerate head, former Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee, President Lee Myung-bak clearly demonstrated the thesis presented early on in critical national theory, namely that “the state is the steward of capital.”

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For full article by Hong Se-hwa in Hangyoreh in English, see:

http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_opinion/411971.html

For the original article in Korean, see:

http://www.hani.co.kr/arti/opinion/column/411835.html

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