Ideologically, North Korea stopped being communist 30-40 years ago. Like Starbucks, they found one good gimmick, in this case, raw power, then hung themselves by their own petard trying to grow it.
Certain laws apply about going from true-believing Marxist ideologues in 1945 to power and privilege-seeking pipsqueaks 60 years later. It takes no more than three generations for any ideology, including some religious institutions, to have their founding beliefs turned into a thinly-veiled protection racket for the pursuit of wealth, power and privilege. And a protected line of succession.
The best kept secret in the USSR was the fact that by the Brezhnev era there were precious few true believers left. By natural law, every apparatchik (bureaucrat) subordinated every stated mission of his office to the survival of that office. At the top of that heap, every communist was in on the power grab, lusting for all the things that could only be had in America and Europe, and would never be produced in the USSR. (Besides, they didn’t know how. I know, I saw a Soviet cassette player in ’91, all steel, weighting about 12 pounds. I’d have liked to see Lebron strapping that to the side of his head strolling down 3rd Avenue in Cleveland.) When I visited there in ’91-’92 party leaders went to great lengths to put on the appearance of sharing the enforced austerity of a managed economy with the proletariat, hiding their wealth in dachas in the woods, where they would spend the bulk of the warmer months in decadent luxury.
Something like this has existed in North Korea for years, 20% haves and 80% desperately poor have-not’s. This math has never worked for totalitarians.
The façade of cheap suits and beer gone, when communism came out of the closet in America in 2008, Van Jones was wearing $800 suit. And no one ever accused Valerie Jarret of wanting to share the open-toilet privations of Mao during the Long March in order to reach the Marxist dream.
The same beat goes on in socialist Europe where their most noble houses will some day be seen as dynastic pikers compared to the European Union. Its Court of Auditors, one of the integral wings of the EU, is going on 43 this year, but by design it will some day witness its 543rd year in power, if it can sell this global world order to the rest of the world, especially America, The EU exists solely for the purpose of keeping its Court of Auditors and all its other constituent bureaucracies alive.
It will learn no lesson by watching its Marxist throwback in Korea fail, by whatever means it chooses to fail.
Call it what you may, communism or fascism, modern systems are now designed to pay, and pay well, and look good. No one cares whether the lower classes feel left out or not (which is why all this looks more fascist than Marxist.)
So, it should come as no surprise that even America is struggling to keep its first principles first. We are supposed to have hard-wired into our system protections against this from happening (We discussed that here, before.) but no one said it might pay so well. Now we know better.
What is happening in North Korea today can only occur because there is once again a living, breathing United States. As we’ve seen now for over 40 years, none of the other Americans actually believed they would, could or should end that malignant cousin, or God forbid, rescue it.
Like the French, the now modern urbane globalist-socialists need ruffian cousins wearing the homespun of another era in order to justify who they, by being to point out who they are not.
This is why every faculty lounge in America and Europe is weeping today.
I’m not an expert, but I know North Korea better than the American media and those faculty lounges know Donald Trump. Call it what you will, insight or blind luck, Donald Trump has offered the Koreans what they most want…in this their third post-ideology generation…and that is respectability. Face.
They seem to be willing to set loose the dogs of freedom for their people in order to achieve it.
This is a good thing, so it’s worth the gamble. This is still a crap shoot, but if recent history is any indicator, grab all the Vegas odds on Trump and Good prevailing, because the Vegas line will get smaller and smaller as time goes on.
Mark this time…then in five years, then ten years…compare the economic and political freedom in North Korea with the same freedoms in Iran, China, hell even in the EU at the rate they’re moving. There’s a natural order in how these things turn out once certain doors have been opened. Most of those will occur in a year or two, because North Koreans will have a place to run even Chinese people don’t have, and that is to cousins in the south.
Watch and pray.