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  • P-ISSN0023-3900
  • E-ISSN2733-9343

Irw olhoe and the Introduction of Marxism into Korea in the 1920s

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2009, v.49 no.1, pp.33-60
https://doi.org/10.25024/kj.2009.49.1.33

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Abstract

Irwolhoe, or the January Association, asserted the unification of the split socialist movement upon its formation in January 1925. Perceiving that the national liberation movement was an ideological struggle as well as an economic and political one, Irwolhoe published Sasang undong as a means of realizing its objective of prevailing in ideological warfare. Suppressed by the colonial authorities from Japan, Irwolhoe changed the editing policy of Sasang undong in January 1926. Gwondoksa took over Sasang undong’s mission of “introducing scientific theories.” By the end of 1927, Gwondoksa had published a total of nine pamphlets. They were primarily translations of works analyzing capitalism through the prism of Marxism, in addition to translated versions of Marxist texts. In 1926, Makseu-wa makseujuui and Gwahakjeok sahoejuui were published. The two books are noteworthy in the history of the introduction of socialism to Korea in that they attempted to analyze Marxism through the works of Marx, Engels, and Lenin. Irwolhoe regarded Leninism as the Marxism of the imperial era and as “genuine Marxism” that enriched Marxism by solving theoretical and practical problems through Marx’s theories and methodology.

keywords
Marxism Leninism Irwolhoe Sasang undong Gwondoksa Marxist texts The Development of Socialism from Utopia to Science Karl Marx

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