Friday Ephemera
Reheated (11)


All facets of a person’s life - including employment, education, place of residence, access to medical facilities, and access to stores - are determined by a semi-hereditary system of social discrimination that classifies citizens into 53 subgroups based on their family’s perceived loyalty to the regime.

Kim Jong Il’s utopian North Korea, as described in The Least Free Places on Earth: 2010. From the Freedom in the World 2010 survey



"The Least Free Places on Earth: 2010."

Karl Marx must be very proud...


I realise the loyal and happy citizens of North Korea have other things to worry about, but you do have to wonder what it’s like to live in a country whose official name - Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – is so grotesquely at odds with reality. The state certainly doesn’t appear to belong to The People; quite the reverse.

I suspect, though, the misnaming is a feature, not a bug:

“The purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control.”


Very interesting, David.

But according to Al-Grauniad the Cuban people don't *mind* not being free. "Cubans Have the Right to Reject Western Consumerism."

Plus they have cheap ballet tickets!



“Plus they have cheap ballet tickets!”

Heh. I think that one’s cropped up here before. Still, it is one of the great Guardian headlines. The author somehow ignores the fact that ascetic types can live quite happily in capitalist democracies, while people who live in quasi-Marxist dictatorships aren’t exactly free to choose how they live one way or the other. You almost have to admire the effort required to studiously ignore such distinctions.

Incidentally, the author of the piece, Dr Helen Yaffe, is also a fan of the homicidal narcissist Ernesto “Che” Guevara and described his blatherings as “so transcendental.”

A flavour of Cuban socialism can be found here:

Andrew Duffin

Gordon Brown's wet dream!


"I suspect, though, the misnaming is a feature, not a bug"

That's why "Juche" translates as "self-reliance" and North Koreans are told they're in charge of "their" revolution.


"I suspect, though, the misnaming is a feature, not a bug"

Similarly In the U.K. we have a "public" sector.

Andrew Zalotocky

All totalitarian systems naturally degenerate into feudalism. The new social hierarchy is established by people who burn with ideological fervour. The next generation of the ruling elite remembers what its parents used to say about the revolution, but it's an abstract concept to them. A generation or two later and there's just a bunch of spoilt rich kids who don't really understand how things got this way but they're damn sure they don't want it to change. They want to pass on their privileges to their own children regardless of what the official ideology may say. Revolutionary socialism is quite literally the road to serfdom.

Spiny Norman

"Kim Jong Il’s utopian North Korea, as described in The Least Free Places on Earth: 2010."

It's a good thing you footnoted that. I thought you were talking about Chicago...



"I suspect, though, the misnaming is a feature, not a bug"

"Social justice"...

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