[KS] Korean Commons?

Kent Davy kentdavy at gmail.com
Fri Aug 31 22:28:49 EDT 2012


John:

I think the previous suggestion to consider the relevance of the
"well-field" concept to your project is well made.  To follow up on it, you
might want to consider taking a look at James Palais' treatment of Yu
Hyongwon's views on the topic in Palais' magisterial "Confucian Statecraft
ans Korean Institutions:  Yu Hyongwon and the Late Chosun Dynasty.  It
should provide you with both a good preliminary understanding of the
well-field idea and a lot to think about.  Be sure to take note, though, of
Yu's position as a radical conservative "outsider" proponent of traditional
Confucian ideas.  I'm sure you already are aware of the potential problems
of analogizing such concepts across such divergent cultures.
____________________________________________________________
"The purpose of today's training is to defeat yesterday's understanding."




On Sat, Sep 1, 2012 at 9:34 AM, John Eperjesi <john.eperjesi at gmail.com>wrote:

> The commons refers to the shared communal spaces that existed in England
> before the enclosure acts that founded capitalism, and was defended in the
> "Charter of the Forests" that accompanied the Magna Carta:
>
> "The Charter specifically states that "Henceforth every freeman, in his
> wood or on his land that he has in the forest, may with impunity make a
> mill, fish-preserve, pond, marl-pit, ditch, or arable in cultivated land
> outside coverts, provided that no injury is thereby given to any neighbour."
>
> "In essence, the commons means everything that belongs to all of us, and
> the many ways we work together to use these assets to build a better
> society. This encompasses fresh air and clean water, public spaces and
> public services, the Internet and the airwaves, our legal system,
> scientific knowledge, biodiversity, language, artistic traditions, fashion
> styles, cuisines and much more. Taken together, it represents a vast
> inheritance bequeathed equally to every human—and one that, if used wisely,
> will provide for future generations."
>
> from: http://www.thenation.com/article/163670/struggle-commons#
>
> On Sat, Sep 1, 2012 at 7:50 AM, James C Schopf <jcschopf at hotmail.com>wrote:
>
>>  I took 'commons' to mean resources owned in common or shared among
>> community members, as in the system of feudal commons in Europe.  The Zhou
>> Dynasty well-field system designated a central plot of land in the village
>> as commons.  This system was upheld as a model by Confucian scholars like
>> Mencius, and some neo-Confucian scholars like Z*hang* Zai in the Song
>> Dynasty.  I'm not an expert in Korean neo-Confucianism, but it wouldn't
>> surprise me if some Korean neo-confucian scholars in the Chosun Dynasty
>> didn't also advocate establishment of a well field system.
>>
>>
>>  > Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2012 16:25:30 -0400
>> > From: gkl1 at columbia.edu
>> > To: koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws
>> > Subject: Re: [KS] Korean Commons?
>>
>> >
>> > Looking at my desk dictionary, "commons" appears to be a social and/or
>> > political term referring to the non-aristocratic social class and
>> > political institutions related to to it. In British public schools and
>> > colleges it is the term for what in the U.S. would be call a dining
>> > hall. I'm not sure how that would fit in with the Paektu taegan.
>> >
>> > On the other hand, a definition applying to anatomical matters for the
>> > word "common" reads as follows: "denoting a trunk from which two or
>> > more arteries, veins, or nerves are given off," as in "the common
>> > carotid arteries." THAT would appear to be an extremely apt description
>> > of the Paektu taegan. But to use that in the plural for a single
>> > organic system, might be problematic since nothing is more singular
>> > than the taegan.
>> >
>> > Gari Ledyard
>> >
>> >
>> > Quoting John Eperjesi <john.eperjesi at gmail.com>:
>> >
>> > > Hi folks,
>> > >
>> > > Is there a Korean concept that is equivalent to "commons?"
>> > >
>> > > I am interested in thinking about mountains and the Baekdu-daegan as a
>> > > commons. From the perspective of "San-shin" or Korean mountain
>> worship, it
>> > > would appear that mountains are a kind of spiritual commons.
>> > >
>> > > Would it be wrong to use the concept of the commons, which has a very
>> > > specific history in England, to read Korean practices? The struggle
>> for
>> > > the commons has become a global rhetoric that addresses many different
>> > > geographical and historical situations.
>> > >
>> > > Any help on this would be much appreciated.
>> > >
>> > > Thanks,
>> > > John
>> > >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>>
>
>
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