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Wednesday,October 21,2020
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A Ship Without a Captain: Anarchy, Anarchism and Anarchists
When I was wasting most of my time sleeping or watching TV during the semester I skipped in 1999, one dream gave me an idea to travel to remote countries like India, Australia or Russia.
South Korea is not different from North Korea in terms of freedom, identity or imagination. I needed more inspiration and stimulus to my writings and activities. I chose to travel to remote countries or places where people would never find me. After earning for the expensive airplane ticket to Australia through a three-month partime job, I found myself flying via Japan Air Line to Australia, whose people are called AUSSIES. It was awesome.
I met some anarchists in Melburne, which is like Taegu or Kwangju in terms of social movements and geological atmosphere.
There were many kinds of demonstrations going on as well as many kinds of political organizations. There were much graffitti on the walls, and propaganda pamphlets on the streets as well as diverse people. It was also Mardi Gras, the biggest festival for gays, lesbians and transsexuals. One guy gave me a book written by Ha Ki-rak, who was a famous anarchist in Korea, and who died a few years ago. I felt that most of the Australian anarchists hated Marxists-Leninists and other struggle-oriented organizations. In a bar, one Greek guy named George said to me, Marxists killed many anarchists, because anarchists protested against power struggles. In the history of Russian Revolution, Trotsky and his followers insisted that Marxists abuse proletarian workers for revolution.
Today we can see the tragic result of the Russian Revolution. Most of the socialists around the world think social examination has reached the end. Nobody thinks progressive activists can make class revolution.
And some friends introduced me to some anarchists in Brisbane. I spent just a few days in Brisbane because the city was disgusting to me. I borrowed an old-fashioned car and drove to the northern part of Australia. It was like the road to the end of the earth: 500 miles of bull-dust, bog-holes and bad coffee. For light relief one had ill-tempered crocodiles, mosquitoes and truckers who looked like Hell's Angels. It was the kind of place where I just couldn't help having fun. I like the rustic country spots more than city places.
Despite the road, the rest of the 20th century came rather late to Coen. The electricity supply wasn't put through until 1979, and television, via microwave link, in 1982. It's not sure if itis much of an improvement, Irene said. People aren't so neighbourly any more. Too busy watching Neighbours. Throughout the Cape the chief topic of conversation had been the Wenlock River. The wet season had been unseasonably wet, and many rivers had burst their banks. For some weeks the road had been cut by the Wenlock, the biggest river of all, and it seemed for a time that I might not make it. I always thought that the First World would be the best place to travel in, but I learned that Western people are too busy watching neighbours.
The last Aussie place I visit by car was Nimbin. I had never been to such a free-lifestyle-oriented village. Itis not a city, just a small village, but the rim area of the Village was around 300 km. Nearby Nimbin, all the city and village were crowded with so-called Orientalism tatoo and body piercing shops, massage centers and an environmental movement atmosphere. I stayed three days in a marijuana daze. Marijuana smoking is totally prohibited by law in Korea, but I was not in South Korea. Ninety percent of Australia people have smoked marijuana at least one time. It was like cigarette smoking. Nimbin made everyone free, imaginative and full of inspiration. Unfortunately, I had to return to Reality?after that week. I wound up my travels by writing a diary and developing my travel film in Sidney. Most of the environment issues were suggested in Nimbin. Organic farming, permaculture (organic farming), non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) movement, alternative gardening and many experiments were being tried by the Nimbin residents and activists. They have protected aboriginal people, native people and social minorities like women, children and mechanically challenged people. Nimbin provides an example to the world of how communities working together can find creative, sustainable solutions to the many environmental and socio-economic dilemmas facing us all as we plunge into the new millennium. You can feel the alternative land sharing, healing, education, housing and power, cafes, markets and festivals, forests, mountain views, great music and Art that are just some of what Nimbin has to offer.
My Korean friend living in Sidney asked Did you feel something different? If you did, you have to make the same thing in Korea, not in Australia.?I felt that's more reasonable. I indulged in the freedom of Australia, not of Korea. I think that is more important to make people feel this freedom in my own country. The social movement about sexual identity and environment should be targeted to this life style of freedom.
After returning to Korea, I am trying to sustain my resolution to the end of my life, starting a new paradigm of my social activities in my middle age. I want to be an anarchist for a Ship without a Captain.

Kwon Sang-gu  The Dongguk post

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