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Christopher Hitchens On Visiting Kim Jung-il's Nightmarish North Korea

Here is an article he wrote on North Korea.

Your Thoughts?

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • nothere

    “But this is what proves Myers right. Unlike previous racist dictatorships, the North Korean one has actually succeeded in producing a sort of new species. Starving and stunted dwarves, living in the dark, kept in perpetual ignorance and fear, brainwashed into the hatred of others, regimented and coerced and inculcated with a death cult: This horror show is in our future, and is so ghastly that our own darling leaders dare not face it and can only peep through their fingers at what is coming.”
    All I could think was ‘Orcs’.

  • Trebuchet

    By chance (I think), the Canadian travel show Departures had a visit to North Korea on my cable last night. It was absolutely creepy, and I was really disappointed in the way the hosts and their British companion seemed to be sucked in. They visited a bottled water factory, and were given the grand tour. They saw the bottle forming machine, the filtration system, the detailed schematics up on the wall, and the bottle filling line. The only thing missing was —- actually bottling water. Everything was completely static. No workers, no production, no nothing. They also visited a collective “farm” — lots of singing children but no apparent agriculture.

    It’d be nice to think that with the death of Kim Jong-Il, things would change. As Hitchens points out, however, the military is in control and the next “Dear Leader” will be a puppet.

  • Anon

    Here is an account by an Russian tourist:

    http://www.enlight.ru/camera/dprk/index_e.html

  • kdan59

    I have read several times that the situation in North Korea is so bad that the South Korean government privately hopes that the North will never be liberated. Why? Because the South would then be responsible for millions of malnourished, uneducated, skill-less people. A government’s worst nightmare.

  • Art

    Why is it that I really suspect that the RNC has, or will soon, send representatives to North Korea. No, it wouldn’t be to notice or reform the failure that is North Korea. Rather it would be to study North Korean methods of propaganda and control. Just imagine the sort of mind-grind that maintains such total and reflexive loyalty. Virtually every citizen would give up their life for Dear Leader. The government makes the average citizen’s life a study in cognitive dissonance. They are starved, kept ignorant, not allowed to do or own anything. Not even their minds are free. And yet, abused as they are they are reflexive in their sorrow and sense of loss when the head of state dies.

    This sort of overwhelming thought control makes talk radio and even the most sophisticated current RNC effort to control citizens through propaganda seem amateurish. The RNC could learn a lot from North Korea.


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