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Love, marriage, children. Own housing, employment. Hobbies, interpersonal relationships. This is the list of things that young people in modern society have been forced to give up over time. Why do they give them up? Is it really because they are naïve, as adults say? How can anyone speak so irresponsibly about such abandonment in the face of such a generation gap? At the heart of this issue of abandonment is an economic problem.
The message of BTS's song No. is this: you have done what the system has commanded you. You've lived well and graduated from college, but now all you're left with are student loan debts and worries about getting a job. It's very common for people to say that the only reason someone can't find a job is that they have too high expectations. But the reality is that it's not possible to repay college loans with the salary you get working in a store.
This reality exists in many countries around the world. At a time when the teaching of philosophy and humanities is in a nutshell, the K-pop group, which put Korean music on the radar internationally and celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, uses the language of its time to comfort young people caught up in chaos and anguish and bolster self-confidence. What BTS suggests is the ownership of self and self-awareness as ways to move up the ladder of personal development.
Over the years, its members have managed to attract more and more interest from people around the world, a popularity that for them is not fleeting. The continued support and fame they are having in countless countries is not only due to their songs and their dance numbers. Among the values of his music, the ones that carry the most weight are his purpose to brighten the life of at least one person, and also his message and his philosophy of strength.
Cover of the book 'Filosofando BTS', by Cha Minju.LA SPHERE OF BOOKS
The modern philosophers Deleuze and Guattari, in their book The Anti-Oedipus, wrote that "the circulation of money is a means of creating endless debt" and suggested that we live in a world where money returns only to the hands of the rich. It is this neoliberal system that has to take responsibility for the "generation of renunciation". The biggest mistake is to hide that responsibility behind individual responsibility and guilt. The older generation believes that the young lack will and effort; Thus, young people end up brainwashed by the neoliberal system of monetary influence and end up suffering, clinging to a sense of guilt and the idea that society's problems are their fault.
BTS says the state of the world is not the fault of young people. He tells young people to ignore such criticism and create their own discourse. Another song is a sample. In their song Dope they sing that the sunrise is more beautiful than the day. In broad daylight, creditors make their loans and claim their money; First thing in the morning, young people can exist outside that social structure. BTS encourages young people's potential to be rebellious, in order to create hope for the future.
Another philosopher, the Italian Maurizio Lazzarato, said that "debt has become the main force moving contemporary society." For him, the cause of such debt is in a neoliberal system that helps those who do well, but is only able to adjust the escalation of benefits for those who are already rich. BTS's position is practically the same as theirs: reject the regulated life proposed to us by the leaders of the neoliberal system and instead practice a different game and have a different life. This is the class struggle, a struggle for the independence and identity of the individual.
Whether or not that was the intention of the older generation, the young have been branded with the name of the "generation of renunciation". BTS tells these young people that they have to run away from the shackles of those expectations. His message is the beginning of that flight.
Filosofando BTS (The Sphere of Books), by Cha Minju, goes on sale on October 11. You can reserve your copy here
- South Korea