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

Power and Violence between the Choosers and the Chosen in the Thought of Dasan Jeong Yak-yong

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2015, v.55 no.4, pp.36-55
https://doi.org/10.25024/kj.2015.55.4.36

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Abstract

According to Dasan Jeong Yak-yong, a ruler was chosen by the people as a chief who could resolve conflict. People in a community chose group leaders and then finally chose a ruler. Therefore, rulers could be ousted if they did not play their roles properly, which equated to righteous power in Dasan’s thought, because the ruler would be ousted for not supporting the people or developing harmony among them. If a ruler abused his power or failed to carry out his responsibilities, provincial leaders could replace him, a mechanism rooted in the people. Therefore, the people could supplant the ruler. However, Dasan did not state implicitly that the people could replace the ruler, but rather that provincial leaders should decide, because Dasan advocated strengthening sovereign power in the case of King Jeongjo. Dasan illustrated the exemplary relationship between the people and the ruler through examples of rebellious subjects during China’s Yin Dynasty. Dasan acknowledged that even a good ruler might encounter opposition. He believed that power and violence, or righteous authority and violent force, should be used according to the presence or absence of communal support and harmony. Support and harmony meant peace and thus determined the implementation of authority.

keywords
people the ruler emperor Tang and Wu Jie and Zhou support harmony

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