A nation weeps

Here is a silent video showing North Koreans mourning the death of their Dear Leader. Do they really feel the grief, or are they all behaving the way they must behave? They seem sincere.

A few years ago, in a documentary about North Korea on the National Geographic channel, there was a scene in which a group of North Koreans had their bandages taken off after having been healed of cataracts by a Nepalese eye doctor. As I wrote at the time, the first thing they did was bow to the picture of Kim Jong Il thanking him for restoring their sight. They didn’t thank the doctor at all. All good comes from the Dear Leader. Again, do they sincerely believe this, or are they all constantly putting on an act, since the failure to put on the act will result in ruin, loss of privileges, even imprisonment and death? I imagine the answer is not a simple one.

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D. Edwards writes:

You wrote: “Again, do they sincerely believe this, or are they all constantly putting on an act,”

This caused me to ponder what the practice of “collective punishment” had on the psyche of an isolated population subjected to it for generations? I have no idea.

Samson writes:

Lawrence, you’re asking whether the North Koreans are sincere in their mourning. Undoubtedly some of them are putting on an act for fear of punishment, but I think many, many truly mean it.

If you only read ten books next year, one of them should be Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, based on interviews with former North Koreans who escaped the regime. One of the things that struck me the most about the book was the extent to which even intelligent, educated people grew up really believing in the official mythology.

I’ve heard that people who visit North Korea (yes, foreigners can visit) often report feeling a deep, cold spiritual darkness. You post a link to a silent video, but I saw one with sound, and it sent shivers down my spine. North Korean society is one of the worst inventions in human history. Read the book—it’s astounding.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 22, 2011 06:54 PM | Send

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