Having seen your glorious rise to power and the hard work and dedication that your newspapers routinely report about your daily life, we have decided to immigrate to your country. From now on we will live eternally grateful for your leadership, oh great one, who has guided us on vigorous winds to your land. We shall leap in joy with jasmine fragrances in our inside while reverently ask for your revolutionary orders, oh Great Leader and supreme commander of all revolutionary activities throughout the world.
Today we are going to take a stab (pun intended) to one of the official North Korean on-line newspaper that work so hard to dispel all those horrible, horrible myths that… well… everybody is spreading about this worker's paradise.
A few days back, the Rodong Sinmun deployed an article that can be loosely translated as "14 Years of Socialist Industrialization" (you will have to forgive us, dear reader, for our Korean is lacking).
In this magnificent work of fiction, readers (we should probably use the singular here, but will grant them the benefit of the doubt), are updated on the magnificent socialistic achievements of the last 14 years. The article is written more or less in a step-by-step manner (we assume not to forget anything crucial, such as the leader).
Step #1 - exaggerate whatever it is that it is being reported.
This difficult and enormous task of 14 years was brilliantly accomplished in a very short period of time.
Step #2 - make ridiculous comparisons.
Industrialized capitalist countries took more than 100 years… to complete what took us only 14… but this is not a miracle of history… they look at us with praise and envy.
Step #3 - praise and quote the leader
The Great Leader Comrade Kim Jong II said: … our revolutionary spirit of self-reliance… allowed us to overcome bravely all difficulties… to complete a century of industrialization in 14 years…in a miraculous feat."
Step #4 - praise and show how the leader has guided us
The Great Leader developed the principle of socialist self-sustainable industrialization… for the first time ever… gave us the fundamental direction…to develop heavy industries and agriculture at the same time…
Step #4a - don't forget to insert the Party
…which created the Basic Line for our party… thus creating a brand new method.
Step #5 - emphasize the achievements by rewriting history
The first Five Year Plan developed the machine building industry as well as light and heavy industries which consecrated the healthy foundation of the socialist industrialization.
Step #6 - add meaningless and totally un-verifiable but impressive statistics
The annual nominal production of steel capacity between 60,000 t and 120,000 t was increased by the working class in the plant of Kim Chul to 190,000t to 270,000t…
Step #7 - remind suckers that they need to work harder, not smarter
Our working class is the "king of the iron and machine industry" striving to achieve the party's goal of a capacity between 300,000t and 400,000t…
Step #8 - mix the name of the leader with other achievements
The Great Leader has stoked the fire that burns like an active volcano… on the miracle factory plant… where last year more than 13,000 machines were…
Step #9 - create an example to follow using the leader (don't forget to adulate the leader)
For the first time our country will be self-sufficient in industrial iron thanks to the Leader's wise leadership, while he refuses to take leave from his parental duties.
Step #10 - restate what you have said before, but this time praising the leader
He said that he created small, medium and large-scale industries in the provinces… which led to the manufacturing of half of all consumer goods.
Step #11 - restate history and this time don't forget to mention the leader
The Great Leader has achieved the completion of the planning for the powerful socialist industrialization in seven years… during which this expansion put flesh on the backbone of heavy industry…through the rapid development of light industry and agriculture.
Step #12 - make a meaningless but impressive list of achievements; don't forget to use generalities
Since 1950 factories were created…rolled steel production…increased capacity…chemical factories in various places… organic chemical industry expanded…knitting industry…coating… chemical… plastics for daily use… which achieved and already improving performance. Electric locomotives which created a new chapter in sophistication… starting in 1960 with "Red Flag 1"…
Step #13 - don't forget to pass the blame to somebody else for the general incompetence
The real struggle for the people's socialist industrialization came in the second half of 1960's as the US imperialist aggression begun when we had to switch production to national defense…
Step #14 - mention that the leader got us out of the problem
But we, the people of the great Comrade Kim Il Sung are a family united in his infinite wisdom and power as he lead the first seven brilliant years of socialist industrialization to completion…
Step #15 - don't forget to remind the suckers what the official reality looks like
As a result we developed a country with modern industrial and rural lead in industrialized countries with strong social policies… the industry is continue to develop rapidly as planned in the last seven years… our country has now a strong raw material base and it is equipped with modern technology…with a self-reliant modern industry…
Step #16 - as a grand finale rewrite history as far back as possible, insert the leader and tell the suckers what the official future will look like.
Socialism and industrialization in our country is the eternal national history of more than 5000 years…as the great Comrade Kim Il Sung declared it of huge historic significance… as he said that country's affairs and prosperity will bring happiness to tens of thousands of descendants of the achievements of this immortal build.
Now, for the next article, shuffle the steps, re-set and repeat. Don't forget to mention the leader.
Take a look and compare the GDP per person between South and North Korea.
Notice any difference?
Take a look and compare the number of patents issued in South and North Korea.
See anything unusual?
Take a look and compare the number of defectors from South and North Korea… oh… that's right. South Korea does not have defectors, only emigration… we keep forgetting that one.
Take a look and compare the under-5-years child mortality rate between South and North Korea.
Notice the "tiny" difference?
What do all these statistics tell us? That North Korea has stagnated industrially for the last 45 years, that it is intellectually unproductive (i.e. dead) and that it is an oppressive regime that cannot even take care of their most young. That's reality.
BUT YOU ALREADY KNEW ALL THIS
That's correct. You probably already knew all this. Then why bother?
Because it is always a good exercise in reality to analyze crackpot regimes. They are good targets to study precisely because they are so much over the top. Their idiocy, stupidity and carelessness are so blatant, so obvious, that make them easy to study.
Go back and re-review the steps of the article. You will notice that in democratic regimes you will find these very same steps albeit much more diluted. If you look closely, you will notice the same propaganda tactics used by so-called democratic politicians during and around election time. That's the point of today's article. The difference between the tactics used by ludicrous and absolutist regimes and democratic regimes are simply a matter of degree; they are not a matter of ideology. In the same manner that they operate their PR machines, they operate everything else.
This is no coincidence. Political power is one of the most diffuse and fuzzy powers there is, but its basic principles are always the same. It is for this reason that governments fail, because politicians always seize that power. How far they go is simply a matter of time.
Whether it is a tin-can crack-pot dictator or a democratically-elected prime minister or president, they operate using the same principles and hold the same goals. It is only a matter of degree. The problem is that dictators have already arrived at their goals, while politicians are still on their way towards them. The democratic process is not a solution to dictatorship, it is only a delay.… but any delay lasts only so much. Eventually, a choice must be made. This choice can be yours or theirs. For your own sake, we hope it is yours.
Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.