Nowadays, many university students keep so much distance from books that they barely read a single book a year. A survey by job search site Albamon, questioning the current rate of reading by university students showed that one in five students never read. In fact, if you look around the subway, you can see how most of the people are obsessed with their smartphones. Freshmen who have just finished their entrance examinations and have recently become university students are especially unfamiliar with basic literacy lectures. Did you ever imagine, when you were a child, that you would be an intellectual and cultivated figure? However, we can’t become cultured if we live far away from books. Therefore, let me introduce the book Broad and Shallow Knowledge for Intellectual Conversation; a book that allows one to gain a lot of knowledge and wisdom through a single book.
Part, 1 History
History from primitive to modern, and from modern to today.
In this book, history is divided into two points based on the modern age. History from primitive to modern changed around the concept of means of production. Means of Production refers to how products are produced in a society. People with means of production, therefore, also get products and gain wealth, which then results in acquisition of power. For example, in the middle ages, manorialism was the means of production and the king and the lord owned manors. History from modern to today is explained around the concept of capitalism. Capitalism’s characteristic is oversupply. To alleviate supply, the world had to pioneer the market economy because we needed to increase supply. The world plunged into colonial competition for open markets and this competition is one of the main causes of World War I.
Part. 2 Economy
Considering the current state of the Republic of Korea, what economic systems do you think are needed?
Economics as an important field for understanding that the real world is divided into two opposing positions. One position seeking market freedom and the other seeking government intervention. The former focuses on lowering taxes and easing regulations. Then, the role of the government would be reduced but also social welfare. The latter, on the other hand, raises taxes and strengthens regulations, and as a result social welfare improves.
Part. 3 Politics
Politics is a decision on which economic system should be chosen.
When a conservative party takes power, market growth directs society. On the contrary, when a progressive party takes power, distribution by the government directs society. So how is the direction of government decided? There are two ways: decisions by a few elite, and decisions by a majority of citizens. In other words; dictatorship and democracy. Both have positive sides and negative sides. Dictatorship has the advantage of making rapid decisions in the direction of society, but in reality, it is highly likely that there will be corruption problems. For example, in North Korea. A few elite live a luxurious life while most people live in such miserable conditions that many of them suffer from malnutrition. Due to this realistic problem, modern countries generally reject dictatorship and pursue democracy.
Part. 4 Society
There are individuals and groups as two subjects in society.
Individualism prioritizes individual interests, and collectivism pursues group interests.
Both have no problems in themselves, but when they are extreme, they have negative aspects. When individualism becomes extreme it becomes ego-centered, and collectivism, in the end, becomes totalitarian. Individualism is a way of thinking that risks total loss for personal benefit. On the contrary, collectivism is a way of thinking that risks personal loss for the nation.
Part. 5 Ethics
The realistic aspect of ethics.
Ethics in the real world asks about social justice. The problem with social justice is connected to the problem of the gap between the rich and the poor, that is, the problem between welfare and taxation. There are two views on this problem. The view that we should protect property rights as an absolute right of individuals and the other that we should give tax to the capitalist considering the happiness of the society to be promoted through welfare. Of course, there is no one right answer.
History, economy, politics, society, and ethics in this book are included in the curriculum from elementary to high school. However, you may have felt a difference between memorizing the names of certain kings or the names of laws in the school curriculum, and the view of basic cultivation in the whole flow. Do you now feel like you have gained some knowledge and sense about intellectual conversation? I hope you will gain basic knowledge through this book.< Copyright © The Gachon Herald All rights reserved >