I'm somewhat late with my blog tonight as I wanted to watch the Panorama programme on North Korea that there has been so much fuss over the past couple of days. The country has after all been in the news almost constantly the past few days with the posturing of the North Korean Government over a possible war. A nuclear war.
What I saw was astonishing, if not unexpected. Hospitals without patients, farms without crops, animals or even tractors as far as anyone could see. One thing the country did have in abundance was soldiers with one commentator pointing out the military/civilian ratio was higher than pre-war Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy.
The latter comparisons seemed striking as we are told that North Koreans are taught they are "racially superior" (I understand that relationships with foreigners is strictly "verboten" as is so much else that we all take for granted) and that Kim-Il Sung, the regimes founder was a "fan of Hitler". That's not something I had heard before but anythings possible with these crazy people.
The description of the regime was not "communist", but "far-right nationalist". Food for thought methinks but kind of fitting since the end products of both extremes are fairly similar. Dictatorship, censorship, brain washing and oppression.
The fact that the leader of North Korea remains the long dead Kim Il-sung whose "101st" birthday was celebrated by the regime today is somewhat "unique" to say the least. The neo-religious nature of the regime is clear to see.
The disappearance of the portraits of Marx & Engles, the founding fathers of Marxism-Leninism on which this regimes ideology is supposedly based provided food for thought. Perhaps they were simply being cleaned? Who knows.
The reality is that the dominant ideology of the so-called Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea is known as "Juche" a form of nationalist self reliance as far as I can make out. Its' difficult to read the stuff they produce without losing the will to live, though some do.
There remain Marxists absolutely smitten with North Korea. The New Communist Party of Britain, The Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain and strangely or not Arthur Scargill's Socialist Labour Party, strange bed fellows indeed. They have an occasional bash together in the Friends of Korea, recently celebrating the birthday of Kim Il Sung. (Find them here: http://friendsofkorea.blogspot.co.uk/).
Sometimes ideology blinds and in some cases completely.
There is no easy answer to how we end the suffering of the people who have to live under this regime, but in the short term we as a society must remain vigilant to the threats around us not just from the far left, but also the far right and the religious fundamentalists.
Democracy is not negotiable!
Further reading: http://www.ericlee.info/blog/?p=727