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may grow ancient and
of the conditions which necessitated action and
which has gone
e. Without such inquiry the decision is simply a
main stream of ther by prejudice or by the general disinclination to
ent. But if we are to perform properly the duties of a
has been any, it is necessary that we examine carefully the facts in
which meach a verdict as to whether Korea committed suicide or was
langua sly slain by Japan.

Horor present purposes it is not necessary for us to go into ancient
istory. And fortunately so, for it is only during recent years that
we have reliable records as to the acts of the Korean Government. But
even if we had, the fitness of the recent Government to rule a people
should be judged by its own acts, not the acts or character of its prede-
cessors. It must also be judged with reference to present standards of
fitness, for it is entirely conceivable that a government which at a cer-
tain period might be considered relatively good might at a later period,
when conditions have changed, be considered relatively unfitted to rule,
or even intolerable.

While a government's budget is not a conclusive test as to its fitness to rule, it is, nevertheless, valuable evidence as to the things upon which the government throws the emphasis; it gives an idea of the judgment of the government as to the relative value of things. Such being the case, Cut it is well worth while examining the Korean budget. In glancing through this, one cannot fail to be struck by the fact that in the same budget in which $1,103,359 is appropriated for the "Imperial Privy Purse," $424 is appropriated for public works. When we find $1,000,000 appropriated for the funeral expenses of the Crown Princess and $27,718 for all public schools outside the capital, we cannot escape the conclusion that it overestimated the value of pageantry and, what is more serious, sadly underestimates the duty which a government owes to the people to promote a wide diffusion of intelligence. Such a disproportionate outlay evidences an exaggerated estimate of the value of pageantry and an abbreviated notion of the value of education.

A comparison between the amount expended for education and that for the support of the army is also suggestive. Korea has been expending annually over $5,000,000 on its army. Whatever justification there. might be for expending so large a part of the total revenue upon an effective army, there certainly can be no justification for expending it in support of an ineffective one. The Korean army furnished neither protection for the country nor discipline for its members. A well-regulated army enforces a discipline that possesses some educative value. This is its redeeming feature in time of peace. But the Korean army does not

even possess the virtue of enforcing discipline. When the Pingyang regiment was ordered to the front, its colonel assembled the soldiers and asked all those who wished to go to hold up their hands. Though this unique method of ordering troops to the front possessed the advantage of reducing the regiment to a size that was no longer unwieldy, it does not appeal even to civilians as being either practical or evidence of good military discipline, and there is little likelihood of its receiving the indorsement of military men. Yet, strange as it may seem, this is not an exceptional instance. It is a recognized practice in the Korean army for the soldiers to hold a mass-meeting and vote upon whether or not they will go where they have been ordered (Korea Review, January, 1904, p. 176). With such discipline, a group of soldiers is not an army but a mob, and for the protection which a mob furnishes a nation $5,000,000 a year is too high a price; for not only is it no protection, but it is an intensely demoralizing force. Even a well-disciplined army has a sufficiently demoralizing effect upon the community, but nowhere near so demoralizing as that of a mob. Such being the character of the Korean army, it does not surprise us to learn that the soldiers of Pingyang combined with the police for the purpose of elevating burglary to the rank of an honored profession, and incidentally increasing their income. When the governor remonstrated, they became indignant at his lack of appreciation of their purposes and the energy they displayed, and threatened to disband and leave the city without police or military protection (Korea Review, January, 1904, p. 30).

The expenditure of $450,604 per year for maintaining the Korean navy is not only indicative of bad judgment upon the part of the Government, but is conclusive evidence of graft, as the navy consists of but one old gunboat which would be practically useless in a fight. The Government might as well spend $450,000 a year on a wild-cat, as the latter would do more fighting and would afford equal opportunities for official graft. A government cannot make such expenditures without forfeiting self-respect and the respect of the people.

A review of the Korean Government's expenditure for its army and navy would not be at all complete without some reference to the Pension Bureau. A study of this bureau heightens the respect one has acquired for the practicality of expenditures by the Korean Government for the support of its army and navy. The Pension Bureau is maintained at an expense of $27,552 a year; and one can get an idea of the necessity of such an expenditure when he recalls that the bureau grants pensions to the amount of $1,956 a year. In other words, the Government considers it necessary to expend $14 a year in order to distribute $1. In some

countries this would not be considered wise financial management, but in Korea it has the sanction of the Bureau of Propriety.

There are a large number of miscellaneous items in the budget which deserve a passing glance. $186,041 was appropriated for imperial "sacrifices." What benefit the people would derive from such an expenditure is something which baffles the ordinary mind. When we find an appropriation of $170,256 for palace guard and $87,978 more for a special palace guard, we cannot refrain from asking ourselves whether or not that work might not have been done by a regiment of the regular army, provided they would vote favorably upon it, or by the Seoul police force, maintained at an expense of about $300,000 a year. At any rate, it would seem that an expenditure of $250,000 for guarding the palace is disproportionate to the amount expended for national education. We find $19,560 appropriated for maintaining a Bureau of Ceremony and Bureau of Propriety. The Mining Bureau superintended no mines and submitted no report, but cost the State $15,742, half of which was for "travelling." A circulating library of greater utility could have been supported at less expense.

There is scarcely an item in the Korean budget which does not furnish unmistakable evidence of graft. When one finds such items as $650,000 for the burial of the Queen Dowager, $16,000 to $27,000 for the rental of an office in such a city as Seoul, $450,000 for maintaining an old gunboat, $1,158,000 for "incidentals," he is a dull fellow if he does. not begin to suspect graft. While there is no government free from occasional grafting, in Korea grafting was the rule, not the exception; the whole system was permeated with graft.

But not only was there graft and foolish expenditure after the money was collected. The method of collecting it was one which discouraged all industry. The collection of taxes was farmed out to the highest bidder. As large sums had to be paid to the palace ring of sorcerers, eunuchs, fortune-tellers, ministers and courtiers for the privilege of collecting taxes, the collectors, in order to recoup themselves, resorted to extortion. If the taxpayer grumbled at this he was thrown into jail. He then had the privilege of appealing from the extortioner who put him there to those from whom the extortioner secured his office. The courts interposed no safeguard against extortion, as the judges secured their offices from the same clique as the tax collectors and other administrative officials. There was no such thing in Korea as an independent judiciary; it was completely dominated by the administrative branch of the Government. The person who was deprived of his property or liberty by administrative officers had therefore no recourse. Such conditions re

moved the incentive to industry and progress. Why should one do more than is necessary to secure a bare existence when he has no guarantee that more can be retained by him and when the acquiring of it may result in the loss of his liberty?

The following incident illustrates very well the respect shown for property rights and personal liberty by the Korean Government. A courtier proceeds to the home of a well-to-do Korean, and, having found the owner, says: "I am delighted to be the bearer of good news and a reward of merit. His Majesty the Emperor has graciously deigned to bestow upon you the decoration of the second class of the Order of the Plum Blossom, and to send it to you by my unworthy hand." Having thus manifested the interest which his Majesty takes in his subjects, he informs the newly made knight of the "Order of the Plum Blossom" that "the expenses connected with the bestowal of this high honor will be $5,000." As this sum would represent all the property he had, Sir Yong Ko He concluded that he could not afford the decoration upon these terms. Such ingratitude forced from his Majesty's royal messenger the exclamation: "Then you scorn the imperial gift and insult his Majesty by refusing to accept it!" And without waiting for his righteous anger to abate, he proceeded to have the sordid ingrate thrown into prison on a charge of lèse-majesté. To secure a trial was out of the question. His only alternative to remaining in prison was accepting the terms offered and becoming a penniless Plum Blossom Knight.

Far different was the kind of treatment accorded influential members of the palace clique. They were allowed to borrow dies from the government mint and coin nickels for their own use. They were also permitted to use their own discretion as to the number and fineness of these coins, so that while the standard nickel contains two cents worth of metal, those of the irregular mintage sometimes contained not more than half a cent's worth. It is well known upon whom the evil results of debasing the coinage fall. This is one of the cowardly ways adopted by rulers for robbing the people or causing them to be robbed.

Such was the condition of affairs when Japan attempted in 1904 to bring about administrative reforms through a resident general who should act as adviser. His position was similar to that occupied for years by Lord Cromer in Egypt. Under this arrangement the fiction of Koreanindependence was retained. The main reforms attempted by the Japanese were the following:

(1) Separation of the imperial household from the executive, with a view of the lessening of intrigue and the protection of ministers from the influence of eunuchs, sorcerers, spirit-mediums, and other hangers-on of the imperial court;

(2) a reduction and reorganization of the expensive and absolutely useless Korean army; (3) a change in the financial system which would give real value and stability to the currency; (4) abolition of useless offices and a reduction in the number of the civil service employees; (5) a general increase in the salaries of officials, with a view to removing the excuse for administrative extortion; (6) education of the people; (7) adoption of sanitary measures; and (8) improvement of means of communication and development of the natural resources of the country.-Outlook for November 18, 1905.

Attempts to put into effect this eminently sensible programme of reform were met upon every hand by obstruction. The "Yangbans," or official class, were intolerant of reform the old régime suited them. After three years of almost fruitless endeavor to improve the Korean administration and at the same time retain the fiction of Korean independence, it became evident to Japan that the plan was an unworkable one. Yet as she considered the reforms imperative she concluded that the only alternative was to disregard the fiction of Korean sovereignty for the substance of reform, and accordingly she has established a protectorate.

What then is the justification, if any, for the recent absorption of Korean sovereignty by Japan? The answer to this question depends entirely upon the point of view. If we pursue the dogmatic method of starting out with any one or all of the following assumptions-that “no man is fit to govern another man without that other man's consent," that "all government rests its authority on the consent of the governed," that "self-government, however bad, is preferable to government by another"-if we start out with these or similar assumptions, we must inevitably arrive at the conclusion that the position of Japan in Korea rests entirely upon force and has no moral justification. The difficulty with this method of procedure is that it assumes what is to be proven and then exults in having proved something.

At the risk of being considered sacrilegious I am going to question the correctness of the above gospel. Self-government is not an end in itself, but rather a means to an end-the securing of conditions which enable the governed to realize the highest possible degree of happiness and usefulness in life. If self-government is an end, then the fact of its existence would be a realization of the end, regardless of the kind of self-government. If upon the other hand it is a means, it must be subjected to the ordinary tests for judging means, and this in each particular case, for the adaptability of means is something which is to be judged in the concrete, not in the abstract.

The attempt for centuries to escape this conclusion by asserting government to be of divine origin and hence not to be subjected to human

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