4. Contesting Pasts, Presents, Futures: East Asia’s ‘Japan Problem’ and ‘Korea Problem’
Gavan McCormack [+]
Australian National University
This collection of 21 papers were written by leading and emerging critical scholar/practitioners who represent three generations of survivors of imperial invasions and genocidal massacres across the globe. They are from the Middle East, East Asia, South Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Pacific and the Caribbean Islands who are renowned for the depth and urgency of their analyses and their principled ethical and political positions against empire and militarization. The contributors expose the oppressive ideologies and mechanisms of the modern empire and its allies and exemplify in particular how militarization has affected various peoples, lands, seas, and skies across the globe. They expose the desecration of lives and the earth by the modern empire and its local allies through various means, ranging from psychological warfare to brute force of advanced technological warfare, leaving an intergenerational impact. The authors foreground a breadth of modes of resistance and the places where they have been implemented, sharing with the reader their hard-earned knowledge and stories of truth and liberation, amplifying the voices of those who reclaim and proclaim the sacredness of life, lands, seas, and skies with a prophetic urgency. The authors have embraced people’s cries against mass killings, starvation, rape, militarized prostitution, torture, forced disappearances, land grab, and the destruction of nature caused by modern warfare, as well as people’s inherent collective aspiration for liberation of their lives and lands. They help evoke and sharpen the alternate consciousness amongst peoples in furthering resistance, and in envisioning and building a non-imperialist future for us, for our children, and for the planet earth. To that end, this book has combined political analyses of the modern empire and militarization with a deep awareness about the death and destruction it causes in order to elaborate upon the transformative practices and knowledge that have emerged out of the author’s concrete engagement with people’s liberative praxis. In that sense, these papers draw on methodologies of engagement, evocation, and envisioning. Coming from diverse disciplinary backgrounds, the authors’ academic disciplines and homes are both theological/religious as well as representing important strands of practice and critique that adopt secular and humanist approaches to collective liberation. This book is the archive of a process of deep discussion and revision, linking the different disciplines, themes and regions so that the knowledge produced has global resonance. It adopts an interdisciplinary, intercultural, interreligious and internationalist approach. Each paper in its own way proclaim faith in the Ultimate Reality or/and in Eco-Humanity expressed in uniquely distinctive ways. Faith is understood here as the liberating language of the spirit; at once divine and human. This collection of papers is published with the aim of sharimg the above liberative knowledge with a wide audience and strengthen horizontal solidarity across the globe to contribute spiritually, morally, intellectually, and politically to the creation of a life-giving new world in opposition to empire and militarization.