As of lately North Korea has been acting up again. First yet another rocket launch followed by the usual diatribe against the Imperialists and the need to build up Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK's) "capability for preemptive strike" until said Imperialists (that would be US) and their puppets (that would be the Republic of Korea - ROK) "stop their war games they stage at our doorstep".
This rocket is clearly a far more capable weapon platform than all the previous ones. If we add this new carrying capacity to DPRK's nuclear capabilities, it becomes obvious that North Korea is becoming a real nuclear threat to Japan, ROK and other regional "Imperialist puppet regimes" (aka neighboring countries).
RUN FOR THE BUNKER!
Based on all this information it is patently clear that any day soon the DPRK will invade South Korea and/or launch a nuclear strike. And this will inevitably lead to a US intervention (probably nuclear) which will unleash a Chinese nuclear response… and the rest will be… well…. radioactive historical dust.
It is for this very reason that the US, the United Nations, China, Russia and every regional cat and dog is up in arms to prevent a final nuclear confrontation that will end life as we know it on planet earth.
Not a chance.
OPPRESSION AND CONTROL
The basis for the North Korean regime is ultimate control at any and all levels of the entire population. In this area, the DPRK has been successful beyond anybody's imagination. In summary:
- Any person is not permitted to travel beyond the boundaries of his/her town without written permit.
- About 1 in 40 people of the entire population is formally a spy, spying on everybody else.
- People are controlled at their work place.
- People are controlled outside their work place through mandated attendance to Organizations (such as Worker's Unions and so on).
- Food is rationed by the state who controls everything.
- There is no private property whatsoever.
- Even minor dissent is punished and such punishment is extended to the entire family (and oftentimes friends) of the disentee.
- Offenders simply disappear without a trace, without a trial. There today, gone tomorrow. For that, there is a significant number of "Camps" dedicated to keeping troublesome people (and their families) away from the "enlightened" society.
- For the most part, most sentences of disentees are either a bullet to the head of life in prison (and we mean "life sentence" as in "dying in prison").
- There is a total, complete and absolute blockade of any external information, to the point that radios must be registered and their tuning capabilities are fixed to… DPRK's official stations.
See what we mean?
The average DPRK citizen is a poorly educated, hungry, terribly oppressed peasant who has been brainwashed since its birth to believe that the DPRK is heaven on earth and that Dear Leader is something akin to a god.
Don't believe us? Each home must, by law, have a pre-determined number of photographs depicting Dear Leader and other members of his family. Such "relics" are to be protected even over people's lives. Yes. That's right. And state officials make sure that such "shining examples" are thoroughly propagandized. Yes. People have died protecting those stupid things.
THE BASIC ANALYSIS
We could spend days analyzing DPRK's leadership and their ins and outs. But that would be pointless. The reality is that an accurate analysis of what's going on is not that difficult. Stay with us.
The situation is quite simple; the DPRK is a bankrupt and failed country. This is so because it is based on hyper-Stalinism (if such a thing is even possible) where the collapse of the economy is complete. Basically, DPRK's economy has been utterly destroyed beyond any capacity of recovery.
But if this is the case, why is Dear Leader (and its cadre of "elite" officials) bend over backwards to spend money to develop nuclear military capability?
Are they totally nuts?
Are they committed communists, North Korea-style?
Give us a break!
The most basic answer is plain, simple and mundane; there is a tiny oligarchy at the top (beginning with Dear Leader) that is protecting their privileged way of life and their right to keep breathing.
They calculate (with some accuracy) that should a revolution occur, they would be the first to go… and not necessarily in a good way (see Oppression and Control above).
Thus, they need to do two things:
- Keep the oppression apparatus going (i.e. pay the fellow oppressor apparatchiks).
- Keep the people fed but not too much (i.e. to prevent spontaneous riots and the trigger of revolutions).
If they can maintain those two conditions, they can do whatever they want and that's the goal. Same as with Stalin.
CASH SHORTAGE AND BLACKMAIL
But there is a problem; DPRK's economy does not exist (for any intent and purpose). No money no wages and no food.
Thus a secondary source of income must be created. And the question is, who can "donate" DPRK billions of dollars? No single person can… but… countries can.
Thus, it is simply a manner of creating an environment such that countries will willingly "donate" DPRK money.
How does DPRK do so?
It uses two methods:
- Pit one super power against the other; for example China vs USSR (an now with less success, Russia).
- Create a crisis and be paid to tone down the crisis to a pre-crisis level.
As you can see, technique #2 is the preferred one. What DPRK is doing is threatening ROK with a gigantic (albeit poorly armed) military, threatening Soul with massive artillery and threatening the entire region with nukes.
And so far has worked beyond anybody's wildest dreams.
The process is always the same:
- Create a crisis
- Negotiate reluctantly but extract the highest possible payment
- Disarm the crisis
For that, they need the massive military and their nuclear weapons. The whole point of the exercise is to extract as much money as possible, time and time again. However, this does has a drawback, they can't use their weapons and they know it.
Should the DPRK attack South Korea with conventional or nuclear weapons (or any other country for that matter), they know and fully understand that US would get in and they would be finished (as in "dead").
Thus, they will never, ever use their military to execute any meaningful attack. They know that. We know that. Everybody knows that. That is not and never was the point. The point is to have a credible weapon which can be used to blackmail. It's the old game of "protection" which the mob plays so well.
Sure, the DPRK and Dear Leader will, from time to time, exercise their military muscles and shell a border town or sink a tiny military weapon or something like that, but they know that there is a line and they won't cross it. Why? Again, if they cross the line their way of life (i.e. elite's way of life) is over.
Look, this is not difficult. It's just like the mob. They will exact "protection" payments and they may rough up a person here or there to make a point. But they won't kill you or destroy your property because they won't get paid! Same with the DPRK.
And what has this got to do with Libertarianism and Austrian Economics? Glad you asked.
Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.