North Korea as an example of Modern Liberalism
In the past, the term “liberal” meant a person who believed in loose political control of social and economic matters. In the modern linquistics, where up has become down and tax increases are called tax cuts, “liberal” has become synonymous with abject political control over people’s daily lives. In fact, people who called themselves “liberals” in the 18th century would find themselves ideologically more attuned to conservatives today.
On social matters, liberals claim the status of “loose control”, but in fact play Thought Police on issues of race, sexuality, gender and religion. On economics, they desire centralized control of everything from labor to manufacturing to services and hefty public welfare programs. In foreign policy, they desire the “consensus” of the body politic and the “common good” over national interests.
In other words, modern liberalism is a weak-kneed form of socialism that attempts to trick people into thinking that it’s individualist.
As I was reading up on North Korea’s latest saber-rattling, it occured to me that Kim Jong Il represents not the communist ideals on which his failing state was formed, but rather the very same weak-kneed socialism that is modern liberalism.
Examining this, we must first understand a few of the excuses given by liberals for their take-control behavior. These excuses are varied and overall make little sense when strung together, but they are the excuses given time and again nonetheless.
- Liberals claim that if we don’t offer public assistance, crime (especially violent crime) will increase.
- Liberals claim that religion forces people to accept things against which they might otherwise rebel.
- Liberals claim that public assistance gives people a foundation upon which to grow and eventually become self-sufficient.
- Liberals claim that “tolerance” is more than just acceptance, but affirmation of one’s beliefs.
As I considered the actions of North Korea since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the liberalization of China’s economy, I realized that the dictatorial regime is very much like an impertinent liberal subsisting off the government-enforced teat of the productive class.
Examine each criteria carefully:
1) If we don’t offer public assistance, violent crime will increase.
There is no evidence that a lack of government assistance begets violent crime. Rather, if one considered what public assistance incentivizes people to do, it seems that government aid programs actually create an environment incentivizing more crime. Think about it: People are raised on the idea that someone will take care of their needs and wants. They have no incentive to work hard, except for any internal drive to improve their own lives. Considering the number of families that are multi-generational aid recipients, this drive appears to be somewhat lacking among many who receive government aid. So when the needs and wants out-strip the aid, they have no ethic of hard work and little education upon which to build a career. So they turn to the easy-out: They join a gang or operate independently as a burglar, drug dealer or other thug.
The North Korean equivalent
We were told that if we gave North Korea food, fuel and other aid, it would not develop nuclear weapons. They did anyway. We were told aid would calm the Korean Penninsula. In fact, the Penninsula is more destabilized than ever. North Korea has now shipped weapons technology to several nations, and it is likely that they assisted at least one nation in the development of nuclear arms. Giving aid to North Korea accomplished none of the goals for which it was offered. In fact, as North Korea becomes more emboldened, the probability of war has increased since aid shipments began.
2) Religion forces people to accept things against which they might otherwise rebel.
If this is the case, then why were so many of our Founding Fathers religious men? Certainly some were skeptical of religion, but others were ordained ministers, deacons and lay preachers. If religion forces people to accept things they otherwise might not, then why were the Puritans the leaders of the English Revolution? Why were Copernicus, Newton and Galileo (all religious men) all at odds with the established religious view of the universe? If religion is such a burden on the conscience, why were so many people oppressed by the areligious Soviet Union? Certainly religion can be used by despots to excuse their behavior or to coerce people, but human beings are capable of independent reason. It is when they evacuate their own ability to reason that people become the pawns of oppression, not because they realize a faith in something greater than themselves.
The North Korean equivalent
North Korea evacuated any religion so that it could establish Kim Jong Il as a political diety. The established religions were thrown away in favor of the state, which in North Korea is personified by its dictator. Now North Korean generals are content to shell innocent civilians on the barest whim of an excuse to please their political master. Rather than creating an environment where reason trumps ideology, the elimination of religion in North Korea created a state where the opposite is true.
3) Public assistance gives people a foundation upon which to grow.
As detailed in the first excuse, the number of multi-generational welfare families belies this idea. While some people use government aid as a springboard to a better life, others choose it as a lifestyle. They continue to subsist on the hard work of other individuals, never attempting to build a better life for themselves or their progeny; never attempting to provide for themselves the things they now expect to be provided by others.
The North Korean equivalent
North Korea can’t feed itself. It can’t provide for itself the basics of modern life. Despite being far wealthier in terms of natural resources than the South, they don’t have the ability to build, maintain or repair their infrastructure. Their farmers are almost incapable of anything more than subsistence farming. So American aid flows in, and the North Koreans are never forced to make the choice between nuclear weapons research and feeding themselves.
4) Tolerance means an affirmation of another person’s lifestyle.
Liberals preach their idea of “tolerance” to the world, but many are in fact the most intolerant people you will find. To these liberals, if you don’t affirm someone else’s choices, beliefs or lifestyle, then you’re “intolerant”. Consider the dichotomy of thought here: If a conservative thinks homosexuality is a sin, never does anything to harm or repress a homosexual, but speaks their mind on the matter, they are “intolerant”. If a conservative views muslim terrorists as “extremists”, then that’s our poor understanding of their religion making us biased; never mind the fact that the muslim terrorist is killing people because they have no tolerance of other religions, or even other interpretations of their religion. Rather than actually view something as immoral, unethical or just downright evil, liberals want us to not just accept those viewpoints, but to affirm them as a positive! To this type of liberal, any other viewpoint is… Well, it’s immoral, unethical and downright evil!
The North Korean equivalent
North Korea not only demands we accept their behavior, but affirm their right to have a nuclear program. They demand that American and South Korean forces stop having joint exercises and “conspiring” with the Japanese. We are not just to accept the existence of the regime, but now we must accept its demands on our economy, our military and our diplomacy.
As one case see from these examples, North Korea is very much a state existing on international welfare. It demands our attention, demands to suckle at the teat of our largesse, and insists on enforcing its norms upon the international community, even when the rest of the world recognizes its behaviors as self-destructive. The nation even engages like a criminal by stealing, attacking and grifting others.
This should hardly seem surprising, really. North Korea’s actions are literally an extension of the will of Kim Jong Il, who has been its dictator for almost two decades and who, unlike his countrymen, was brought up in relative luxury, the state providing for his every need and want. His nation has subsisted for sixty years on assistance from its parents, the Soviet Union and China, and now from United States. This means that, despite his relative wealth, Kim Jong Il has the same mentality of a modern common street thug. The onlyintellectual difference between Kim and a street thug, in fact, is that he has nuclear bombs and a military of 1.9 million men at his command.
And that is the ideology of liberalism, in a nut-shell: Force people to not only accept but affirm your bad decisions, then make them pay for what it cost you. If they don’t pay, take it from them, by force of government or threat of violence if necessary, and tell them they’re selfish and immoral for not just handing it over.