It’s difficult to think of another country more different from the United States than North Korea. United States is big, North Korea is small. United States is rich, North Korea is poor. United States is free and democratic, North Korea is totalitarian and repressive. United States is individualist, North Korea is collectivist. And yet, there are striking, even alarming, similarities between the two nations in the area of political psychology. It goes to show that even a ‘free’, ‘liberal’, and ‘democratic’ order can come under the same kind of controls that curse and bedevil a tyranny modeled on Stalinism and Oriental Despotism.
Why would this be so? It’s because both North Korea and the United States now have in common a kind of infantilization of the masses, quasi-spiritualization of tyrannical & parasitic forces, military muscle-flexing as substitute for genuine moral legitimacy, a politics of fear-mongering & scapegoating, radical witch-hunting hysteria, and the ‘cravenization’ of the managerial elites to the overlords & oligarchs.
Even though North Korea is a closed society of which even experts have limited knowledge, we know that (1) it is ruled by the Kim Clan (2) Kim dynasty isn’t merely dominant but deified and worshiped, therefore making it a ‘spiritual’ as well as political crime to dissent against the Power (3) rational discussion & factual inquiry are suppressed, often banned (4) emotional hysterics are instilled and encouraged among the masses in their support of the Kims (5) all the faults and problems of the system are blamed on OUTSIDE forces that aren’t merely denounced but demonized (6) pageantry and idol-worship dominate ideological ‘thought’ (7) historical victimization is exploited to justify whatever insane policy the regime concocts next, and furthermore, the pathology of self-pity blinds the nation to its own evils (8) there is an exaggerated sense of self-importance.
Now, such faults and problems are to be found in all nations and regimes around the world. It’s like greed and mendacity are a common feature of humanity. The world is not made up of sinners on the one side and saints on the other. All people have the sinner and the saint in them. It’s really a matter of degrees, and North Korea really takes the cake when it comes to political pathology, indeed so much so that many in the West glibly regard themselves in stark opposition to the lunacy that is North Korea.