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Thursday, July 06, 2006


juche is a lie

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, July 06, 2006 permalink View blog reactions
If there is a central ideology animating the illusion of a functional society that is North Korea, it is juche (??). Loosely translated as self-reliance, juche comprises the following principles:

Any objective assessment of North Korean society will quickly conclude that on each of these principles, the actual implementation of juche in North Korea is as hollow and meaningless as the concrete shell of the Ryugyong Hotel. What better symbol of a failed regime?

What is particularly tragic however is how the facade of juche has been maintained with the willing assistance of North Korea's neighbors, and the United States. The survival strategy of the NK regime is simple: bluster for bribes.

Read on...

Even as long as four years ago, it was clear that NK would manufacture crisis after crisis, expresing great outrage and demanding concessions in the form of aid and supplies to stave off the inevitable collapse. And we have complied; without ongoing assistance from the US, China, and South Korea, the long-predicted total collapse of NK would have occurred long ago.

And if NK goes, rest assured they will take South Korea with them.

There have been only two policy alternatives thus far. The policy we have not chosen to pursue is to cut off all aid, enforce sanctions, and ride out the storm. But even if we could convince China to sign onto the total isolation plan, such a policy would essentially back the NK regime into a corner - with only one exit. The economic and socipolitical impact of chaos on the Korean peninsula - including wiping out Seoul, one of the key cities on the Pacific Rim, and the flood of hundreds of thousands of refugees from NK - would be a monumental disaster on the scale of recent tsunami, if not worse.

So that leaves us with the policy we have chosen to pursue, which is to keep the regime afloat, and the poor hostage citizens of NK one step ahead of starvation. Food is a political weapon in NK, and the regime uses it effectively to maintain its tight control. The sad truth is that this is a status quo which probably can be maintained indefinitely, as it has all these decades since the Cold War and even surviving a transition between Revered Leaders.

But is there an alternative policy? I think there might be. Hope, as Winston once wrote in his journal, lies with the proles. If the people of NK can be made to see the utter futility of the lie that is juche, then perhaps some spark can be lit in their downtrodden breasts.

We must not write off the people of North Korea. The South Koreans have not; though it costs them dearly. After all, these are their own blood. There is an increasing sentiment in the US and in S. Korea that conflagaration with NK is inevitable; that the hostage-citizens therein are nothing more than collateral damage on the offering block of global stability. But that is precisely backwards. It is the people of NK who are the solution, if they can be made to see the hope that lies within.

The grim logic of a foe with nothing to lose cuts both ways. Let the people of NK see in themselves a foe to the regime that has ground them down to dust. And then it will be the regime that faces two stark choices - concede, or die. And given that the rulers of NK love their life above all else - when it is their lives on the line, not their hostage-countrymen, they will surely yield.



Dear Leader is the most best leader. The west is mongrel hoard of counter revolutionary bandits. Move to DPRK to live in freedom. Raise high the banner of Juche.


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.