'Success breeds failure': liberal critic's advice for conservative party leader

'Success breeds failure': liberal critic's advice for conservative party leader

Lee Jun-seok, leader of the main opposition People Power Party (PPP), speaks during a meeting with Korea experts in Washington D.C., Wednesday (local time). He will return to Korea next Monday after wrapping up a week-long visit to the United States. Courtesy of PPP

In his latest book, Kang Jun-man warns of the curse of success, analyzes the Korean public’s sympathy toward Samsung’s formerly jailed vice chairman

By Kang Hyun-kyung

Kang Jun-man, a professor emeritus of Jeonbuk National University and a liberal political commentator, has advised conservative main opposition People Power Party (PPP) leader Lee Jun-seok to move on from being an irresponsible amateur politician to becoming a tolerant and mature politician.

“The curse of success and how he can avoid it are what he has to prioritize if he wants to succeed in the political arena,” Kang said in his latest book, titled, “Historical Figures and Ideologies 2: Impertinent Lee Jun-seok.”

According to the author, the “curse of success” refers to the fact that what was critical in making a person successful earlier ironically could fail them later on, if they remain content with their past success and resist moving forward.

“He may not like it… but this advice is based on proven facts over centuries,” said Kang.

Citing a column written by Dong-A Ilbo journalist Kim Yoon-deok, Kang said that he concurred with the journalist about her use of the adjective, “bal-chik” (meaning “impertinent” in Korean) to describe the character of the PPP leader and stressed that the word is the best one to represent him.

The definition of the word is, “rude, disrespectable and impolite,” and thus, it is mostly used in a negative sense. But, the author claims, in certain circumstances, it can have a positive meaning, particularly when the word is used for a fearless person, like Lee, who dares to challenge existing, ineffective rules or practices that hold back progress.

Lee had been the subject of a frenzy of media attention in June when he was elected the PPP leader in a primary, becoming the first party leader in his 30s. In the media, he was portrayed as an outspoken, innovative young man who was set to infuse a breath of fresh air into the conservative main opposition party. The so-called “Lee Jun-seok effect” helped the conservative PPP’s ratings rise in public opinion surveys later that month.

But his popularity has been short-lived, as his careless remarks and reckless demeanor were scrutinized and backfired on him. He tried to steal the show and boss the PPP’s presidential contenders around, which led him into disputes with some of the contenders.

“His biggest problem is that he talks too much but has no point. In August, for example, he uploaded 40 posts on his social media over 12 days ― all of which were about the minor internal politics of the PPP. He didn’t mention anything about major issues such as the insecure vaccine supply or the Korea-U.S. military drills,” wrote Kang.

His habit of speaking just for the sake of speaking didn’t hurt him in the past because he was a relatively insignificant figure. But the same trait will hurt his political career because he is currently in a position to represent the conservative main opposition party, according to Kang.

'Success breeds failure': liberal critic's advice for conservative party leader

“Historical Figures and Ideologies 2: Impertinent Lee Jun-seok” by Kang Jun-man

To avoid such a “curse of success” in Lee’s case, the author went on to say that Lee needs to be careful not to get stuck in his past habits and rather, to try to sharpen his tone and messaging.

PPP leader Lee is one of the seven individuals Kang critically reviewed in his latest book. The six others are: Samsung Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong; Korean superstar boy band BTS; outspoken politician Hong Joon-pyo; and a few members of the liberal ruling Democratic Party of Korea who are critics of PPP presidential candidate Yoon Seok-youl, Cho Don-mun and Rep. Kim Yong-min.

Regarding Samsung vice chairman Lee, who was recently released from prison, Kang wrote that public opinion was very supportive of him, partly because the global tech giant helped Koreans feel proud of themselves, which in turn helped them overcome a sort of inferior complex, as citizens of a relatively weak state.

Other than the PPP leader and Samsung Vice Chairman Lee, the people who are reviewed in Kang’s new book are not the usual suspects.

The liberal political commentator has been described as a “critic from within” for his sharp-tongued criticism of liberal politicians, including most notably, President Moon Jae-in and former Justice Minister Cho Kuk, in his previous publications. His tone is straightforward and outspoken, and some take this set of recent publications ― which are highly critical of liberal politicians ― as a sign of a shift in his political orientation from liberal to conservative.

However, in his latest book, “Historical Figures and Ideologies 2: Impertinent Lee Jun-seok,” Kang appears to defy such appraisals.

He said that he included conservative politicians in his critical review series in order to prove that there has been no change in his political stance.

The author explained that his previous works which were highly critical of several liberal figures triggered unintended results about his assumed motives.

Kang clarified that he criticized the liberal politicians because he wanted them to succeed, not to fail. “I have no affection at all toward conservative politicians,” he wrote, quoting his remarks from his previous work, “The Republic of Korea, A Tribal State.”

“Some liberal intellectuals encouraged me to criticize conservatives as well. Their requests are ironic, because for me, the goal of criticism is not to destroy someone, but to help them succeed. I don’t know why they asked me to comment critically on conservatives, but I decided to respond to their requests anyway.”

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related


Samsung provides training for mixed heritage youth

A group of mixed heritage youth taking part in Samsung Electronics Service’s IT training program poses in this photo released by Samsung Electronics, Tuesday. The tech giant’s repair services unit ... Read more »

Hyundai Glovis to establish global hydrogen supply chain with Air Products

Hyundai Glovis CEO Kim Jung-Hoon, left, and Air Products Asia President Wilbur W. Mok pose for pictures after the signing of an MOU to bolster cooperation in establishing a hydrogen ... Read more »

NSC expresses 'deep regret' over N. Korea ballistic missile launch

A view of Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul (Yonhap)The National Security Council expressed “deep regret” Tuesday over North Korea’s launch of a short-range ballistic missile and urged Pyongyang to return ... Read more »

No notice from N. Korea on its missile launch despite daily liaison call: Seoul ministry

This file photo, shows a missile launch. (North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency)South and North Korea held their regular phone call via the liaison hotline Tuesday morning, but Pyongyang ... Read more »

Military reports 8 additional coronavirus cases

(Yonhap)Eight Army soldiers have tested positive for COVID-19, raising the total caseload reported among the military population to 1,973, the defense ministry said Tuesday. Six trainees at a boot camp ... Read more »

'Beethoven liberates musicians': Beethoven specialist Rudolf Buchbinder

Pianist Rudolf Buchbinder listens to reporters’ questions during a press conference held at Cosmos Hall in Seoul, Monday, to promote his recital series in Korea, which is planned to be ... Read more »

Cabinet approves immigration law revision to grant long-term residency to Afghan evacuees

Afghan evacuees play football at the National Human Resources Development Institute in Jinchon, 91 kilometers south of Seoul, on Wednesday. (Yonhap)The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a revision to the immigration ... Read more »

Ruling party mulls referring opposition lawmaker to ethics panel over 'cash photo'

This pool photo shows a photo displayed by Rep. Kim Yong-pan of the People Power Party during a parliamentary audit of the Gyeonggi provincial government in Suwon, south of Seoul, ... Read more »

N. Korea fires unidentified projectile toward East Sea: JCS

North Korea fires a ballistic missile from a train on Sept. 15, 2021. (KCNA-Yonhap)North Korea fired an unidentified projectile toward the East Sea on Tuesday, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of ... Read more »

Blackstone-backed global handbag maker to go public next month

The headquarters of Simone Accessories Collection, located in Uiwang, Gyeonggi Province / Courtesy of Simone Accessories Collection By Anna J. Park Simone Accessories Collection, a luxury handbag maker that mainly ... Read more »

There is No Border for Climate Cooperation

               Dr. Frank RijsbermanInternational climate scientists agree that to keep global warming to within 1.5 degrees Celsius, and avoid climate impacts with disastrous consequences, the world needs to reach net zero ... Read more »

S. Korean, US, Japanese intel chiefs to hold trilateral talks in Seoul

The US director of national intelligence, Avril Haines, arrives at the Shilla Hotel in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)The intelligence chiefs of South Korea, the United States and Japan were to ... Read more »

Estonia, Korea celebrates 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations

Congratulatory letters from Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid and President Moon Jae-in Estonia and Korea are celebrating 30 years of diplomatic relations. Korea recognized the independence of Estonia on Sept. 6, ... Read more »

International defense exhibition kicks off, cutting-edge weapons on display

A South Korean-made FA-50 fighter jet is displayed at the Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition (ADEX) 2021 at Seoul Air Base, southeast of Seoul, on Monday. The annual expo ... Read more »

Prosecutors expected to seek arrest warrant for key figure in corruption-laden development scandal

Nam Wook (C), a key figure in a sprawling land development scandal in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, is swarmed by reporters at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, on Monday, after ... Read more »

US envoy for N. Korea to visit Seoul for talks on end-of-war declaration

Flags of North Korea and the US (123rf)US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Sung Kim will visit Seoul this week for talks on ways to restart dialogue with the ... Read more »

2 minor natural quakes hit N. Korea's eastern region: KMA

This image, provided by the Korea Meteorological Administration, shows the epicenter of a 2.6 magnitude natural earthquake that hit North Korea’s eastern region on Tuesday. (Yonhap)Two natural earthquakes hit eastern ... Read more »

Blinken meets IAEA director-general for talks on Iran, N. Korea

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (R) seen speaking at a joint press event with Rafael Grossi, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, before their meeting at the State ... Read more »

Groundbreaking early-modern Russian avant-garde art to be unveiled in Seoul

“Improvisation” (1913) by Wassily Kandinsky / Courtesy of the Primorye State Art Gallery By Park Han-sol Like many revolutionary art movements, Russian avant-garde faced numerous dynamic historical events during its ... Read more »

Director Jaap van Zweden of HK and NY Philharmonics to conduct KBS Orchestra on Oct. 29

Conductor Jaap van Zweden / Courtesy of Wong Kin Chung By Park Ji-won The poster for KBS Symphony Orchestra’s “Be Your Light” concert / Courtesy of KBS Symphony Orchestra Jaap ... Read more »

Korea faces possible 3 percent inflation

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki. Korea Times file By Lee Kyung-min Korea is expected to register inflation of over 3 percent this year, driven by soaring raw ... Read more »

IT firms cautious about ending work-from-home under 'Living with COVID-19'

Seen above is a night scene of Pangyo Techno Valley at around 9 pm, July 12. Korea Times photo by Lee Hae-rin By Kim Bo-eun With the government preparing to ... Read more »

Slovak presidential advisor discusses collaboration with Sejong University

Slovak presidential advisor Norbert Kurilla (Sejong University)Norbert Kurilla, advisor to the President of the Slovak Republic, discussed ways for future collaboration and exchange efforts with Seoul’s Sejong University during a ... Read more »

USFK reports 23 additional COVID-19 cases among new arrivals

Fighter jet F-16 Falcon lifts off tarmac at Osan Air Base (Yonhap)Twenty-three people affiliated with the US Forces Korea (USFK) who have recently arrived here have tested positive for COVID-19, ... Read more »

Local gov'ts moving to revitalize regional tourism for 'living with COVID-19'

Hikers walk along Route 20 of Jeju Island’s Olle Trail, in this photo taken on Oct. 23 last year when the downsized Jeju Olle Walking Festival kicked off. This year, ... Read more »

Spy chiefs of S. Korea, US, Japan discuss North Korean issues in Seoul

NSouth Korea’s ational Intelligence Service Director Park Jie-won (Yonhap)Intelligence chiefs of South Korea, the US and Japan convened in Seoul on Monday to discuss North Korean issues amid a flurry ... Read more »

From Song Hye-kyo to Kim Soo-hyun, big stars to lead small screen in November

The posters for “Melancholia,” starring Im Soo-jung, from left, “Now, We Are Breaking Up,” starring Song Hye-kyo and “Happiness,” starring Han Hyo-joo / Courtesy of tvN and SBS By Lee ... Read more »

'Venom 2' tops local box office, exceeds 1 million in ticket sales

A scene from the film, “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” / Courtesy of Sony Pictures By Kwak Yeon-soo “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” the long-awaited follow-up to 2018’s “Venom,” has ... Read more »

Hyundai evolves as frontrunner in high-performance vehicle market

Hyundai Avante N series / Courtesy of Hyundai Motor Group By Kim Hyun-binHyundai Motor Group has come a long way to become a leading player in the global automotive industry, ... Read more »

LG, Vogue discuss sustainable fashion

Vogue Polska Editor-in-Chief Ina Lekiewicz, left, speaks with BAT Poland and Baltics General Manager Asli Ertonguc during the Vogue Business Fashion Environment Summit, held at the Museum of the History ... Read more »

LGES on aggressive US expansion with Stellantis tie-up

LG’s battery affiliate to accelerate IPO drive By Kim Bo-eun LG Energy Solution (LGES) is aggressively expanding its presence in the fast-growing U.S. market for electric vehicles (EVs), unveiling plans ... Read more »

Support for 2030 Busan expo bid

Kim Young-ju, the chairman of the Committee for World Expo 2030 Busan, and Chung Man-ki, the former vice trade minister and incumbent head of the Korea Industry Alliance Forum, pose ... Read more »

Hong Sang-soo's 'In Front of Your Face' is about finding romance in the tedious

A scene from the film “In Front of Your Face” / Courtesy of Jeonwonsa Film By Kwak Yeon-soo Like many of his other films, director Hong Sang-soo 26th feature “In ... Read more »

S. Korea unveils 2 upgraded road maps for 2050 carbon neutrality goal

President Moon Jae-in and other officials attend a carbon neutrality committee meeting in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)The presidential committee on carbon neutrality on Monday unveiled two upgraded policy road maps, ... Read more »

Gov't to team up with businesses over US pressure on chipmakers

Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki speaks during a meeting on the external economy and security at the government complex in Seoul, Monday. Yonhap Seoul to make final decision on CPTTP entry ... Read more »

Unification Minister calls for talks to discuss the North's ‘double standard' accusation

Unification Minister Lee In-young speaks during a parliamentary audit of the ministry at the National Assembly on Monday. (Yonhap)Unification Minister Lee In-young on Monday stressed the need for talks with ... Read more »

Ex-Foreign Minister Kang asks for local labor sector's support for her bid for top ILO seat

Former Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha speaks with officials of the Federation of Korea Trade Unions at the organization’s office in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)Former Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha on Monday ... Read more »

Police search Nat'l Assembly in Seoul over bomb threat

The National Assembly (Yonhap)Police and fire officials searched the National Assembly complex in Seoul on Monday after a lawmaker’s office received a bomb threat by phone, officials said Monday. According ... Read more »

S. Korea to raise goal of cutting emissions to 40% by 2030: Moon

(Yonhap)South Korea will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from the 2018 levels by 2030, sharply raising its previous goal as part of efforts to curb the pace ... Read more »

Opposition pressures Lee Jae-myung at parliamentary audit

Gyeonggi Province Gov. Lee Jae-myung attends the parliamentary audit at the province government office in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province on Monday. The placard reads “recipient of money = culprit, sharer of ... Read more »