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Why there is bullying in Korean society Why there is bullying in Korean society
by Jay Gutman
2019-03-12 09:40:48
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Korean society follows one precept: preventing, at all costs, people from becoming better than one's self. Here are several ways this plays out.

Teaching: teachers preventing students from becoming better than them

Korean teachers often hold lectures that are completely off-topic, in some cases way off-topic. A science class can see teachers dealing with politics, a Korean language class can deal with the English language, and English language class can deal with the Korean language and so on.

kore001_400In Korean schools, tests are often related to the off-topic topics discussed in class and grades are often assigned based on the bribes teachers perceive. In sum, teachers prevent students from becoming better at the subject than teachers themselves. Teachers will prevent any student from achieving results that surpass the teacher, and the less a student knows about a certain topic, the more comforted the teacher will be.

Mentoring: mentors preventing those mentored from being better than them at all costs

In workplace settings, when a boss is assigned a subordinate, they want to prevent the subordinate from reaching heights at all costs. Key information about the workplace is withheld, how to perform one's tasks is not taught. Nor are subordinates introduced to the structure of the organization. Nor are they taught the main work of the organization or key information about surrounding areas of the organization, such as surrounding restaurants, stores, contractors and other information surrounding the organization.

The boss wants to prevent the subordinate from being better than the boss at all costs, because if the subordinate grasps the workload and performs well on the job, he may get promoted faster than the boss. So the boss will prevent the subordinate from being better at all costs.

Teams: team members working hard so that no other team member is a better member, even if it means dismal team performance

Be it sports teams, business teams or entertainment teams, Korean teams prevent each other from shining at all costs. Information is withheld from teammates, star players are prevented from shining, and coalitions are made so the stronger elements of the team don't appear to the surface. Team players leave each other working and walking in the dark, which eventually leads to dismal team performance.

Gapjil and Taeum: if you're not sure how to prevent people from being better than you, play with their emotions

Gapjil means abuse of power and taeum means pushing employees to burn out. Since everyone is trying to prevent everyone else from being better than oneself, it often leads to a lot of emotional abuse, or in some cases physical abuse in addition to withholding key information.

If you want to shine at the workplace, marry a CEO family member or sleep with the CEO

Only those with physical intimacy with the CEO's family will be allowed liberality within the workplace. Only those with family connections will be allowed liberality in schools. That is you can only shine if you have connections to the CEO, or to people in power.

Where Sun Tzu comes in

Korea is not a Confucian nation, but a Sun Tzuist nation. Sun Tzu believes that sharing information with the enemy is the worst mistake one can make. Sun Tzu believes that the less the enemy knows about you, the better the advantage you have over the enemy. That is an enemy walking in the dark can't win a fight.

So most Korean companies and schools leave students and employees in the dark. No information about where to find housing, where to find restaurants, where to find services, how to get the job done and how to seal the projects and deal. And if you figure that out, they will drain you emotionally, to the point you either quit, retreat or get fired for incompetence.

How the government can fix this

Jobs need to be task-based rather than rank-based and job descriptions need to be complete and include all the information employees need to survive. Employees should focus on getting the task done rather than going up the ranks. School needs to focus on knowledge rather than grades, and grading needs to be absolute rather than relative. Teams and the media need to focus on individual strengths and weaknesses, and strengths need to be celebrated. If rank is celebrated too much, people will often try to prevent other people from outranking them. Confucianism, or the celebration of knowledge, should be encouraged over Sun Tzuism, or the celebration of deception, treachery, abuse of power, eliminating the strong because strong soldiers weaken the army.


      
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